Statement from Sen. Ellis on 49th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid
(Austin, TX) // Today, Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) released the following statement:
"Today marks the 49th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing into law the Social Security Act Amendments, which established Medicare and Medicaid," said Senator Ellis. "For decades, Medicare and Medicaid have been providing invaluable health care coverage, preventative services, and peace of mind to our most vulnerable populations including children, seniors, people with disabilities, and pregnant women."
"Just like Medicare and Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act or 'Obamacare' is a great step toward universal access to affordable health care, and it has helped millions of uninsured receive the care they need and deserve. Texas stands to benefit greatly as nearly one in four lack health care coverage. While over 700,000 Texans selected a plan through the Healthcare Marketplace, more work needs to be done to help insure the more than 5 million Texans that still lack quality, affordable health insurance."
"On the day President Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law, he quoted President Harry Truman from a generation earlier: 'Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and to enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. And the time has now arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and to help them get that protection.'"
"Texas has a historic opportunity to finally do something about its dismal numbers by closing the coverage gap, but, instead, our state's leadership simply chooses to say 'no.' As a result, about a million low-income adults in Texas are left with no real option."
"Expanding Medicaid simply secures federal aid for what cities and counties pay for already: the costs of uninsured Texans who show up in our doctor's offices and emergency rooms. Accepting the $100 billion in federal funding to address the gap in affordable healthcare options available to our constituents is just common sense. I will continue to do my part to advocate for Medicaid expansion to ensure that we are creating a Texas where all families have the opportunity to be healthy and successful."