September 24, 2013
I said last week that there’s still time. And there is. But it’s running out.My big party at Zilker Park
is just nine days away.It’s that party where we take over the park …
The party where the music’s always outstanding (this year, it’s courtesy of the Mavericks and Vintage Trouble) …
The party that folks always, always have a great time at.
You’d be crazy not to go. Don’t be crazy. Get tickets now.
October 3. 8 p.m. Zilker Park.
I’ll see you there.
I am, officially, a ‘Good Guy’
I received an award last week that I’m awfully proud of.The National Women’s Political Caucus gave me its “Good Guy” award. The award recognizes folks who’ve been strong, reliable allies for women on political issues that matter to them.
With Linda Young, President of the National Women’s Political Caucus
Obviously, a lot of us have received a lot of publicity over the last few months for work we did during the summer’s first two special legislative sessions, fighting bills that would undermine women’s health and strip women of fundamental, constitutionally protected rights over their bodies.
But the truth is that I’ve been involved in these issues – and I’ve been fighting these fights – for a very long time. As critical as that fight was this summer, and as proud as I am of what we did, the truth is that it was only one fight.
Since 1971, the NWPC has been fighting these battles and working to elect more women to offices at all levels of government. So receiving this great recognition from this tremendous organization … well, it means a lot. And you can be certain that I’ll continue working and fighting for these priorities.
Want better healthcare in Texas? Let people do their jobs!
We all got a bit of a surprise last week when the Governor sent a letter to a state agency demanding new, heavy-handed regulations that would make it harder for people to work in Texas.Does that sound to you like our business-loving, economy-bragging, corporations-poaching Governor? Me neither. But the subject of his letter was Obamacare, and I think we’ve seen that can make some folks seem a little, umm, different from usual.In this case, it sure looks like the Governor is proposing onerous, punitive regulations on people who have one specific job: signing folks up for health insurance through an exchange that’s being created under the Affordable Care Act.
Such folks are called navigators. I’m very concerned that the Governor and others are trying to make it much harder for them simply to help Texans sign up for health insurance.
My bill and what it did
I actually passed a bill during the recent legislative session allowing the state to craft a system for navigators that really works for Texas. The goal of my bill was to protect consumers while making it easier for Texans to get health insurance. I wanted to improve our healthcare system, not help political opportunists dismantle it even more.So I sent a letter to the Texas Insurance Commissioner
last week explaining, again, the intent of the law.Frankly, I don’t think current law even gives Texas the authority to create the rules that our suddenly regulations-crazed Governor wants to slap onto healthcare navigators. I think he’s trying to twist the meaning of protecting consumers to help himself fulfill an extreme political agenda.
One way or another, the Governor’s actions would hurt Texans who need healthcare far more than they’ll help him in some GOP primary.
Texas STILL has the lowest percentage of insured residents
The most amazing thing about this might be the timing: the Governor’s letter was sent the same week that a new census report showed Texas continues to lead the nation in the percentage of uninsured residents.Nearly 25 percent of the state’s population – 1 in 4 Texans – does not have health insurance. Raise your hand if you think that’s a problem. I’m not sure the Governor’s hand is up, and I just can’t imagine why.It really is incredible that he seems to be playing raw politics in a way that would make our state’s tough situation worse. More than that, it’s baffling that the Governor seems to have dug in against the basic notion of Texans having affordable health insurance.
I say all the time that Texas can do better when it comes to things like healthcare. And the fact is that it’s time to get serious.
The Affordable Care Act is law. Its primary components start to take effect next month.
And the folks running this state need to put the health of Texans, and of our economy, ahead of partisan pandering and political histrionics.
We can start by letting navigators do their jobs.