AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Democratic Party held a press conference commemorating the 10th anniversary of signing the Affordable Care Act. State leaders discussed the status of healthcare in the midst of COVID-19.
“There’s no doubt there's so many people in Texas for whom the Affordable Care Act has been a literal lifesaver,” U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett said.
On Monday afternoon state leaders held a press conference via telephone to honor the 10th year of Obamacare being signed. There were primarily Texas Democrats on the call voicing recent concerns about the coronavirus.
U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher says, “And I think this pandemic really underscores, as my colleagues have said, how critical it is that we have accessible and affordable health care.”
Earlier this month, the U.S Supreme Court announced it would review a challenge to the ACA's constitutionality after a group of states led by Texas claimed there was no longer a legal justification for it.
Veronica Escobar says, “the governor is in power right now to expand Medicaid eligibility for all uninsured individuals in Texas and it is critical he do so as we set out in our letter last week."
“I think the argument Democrats are going to try and make is if Obamacare was struck down, they're going to argue that healthcare would be taken away," said GOP consultant Matt Mackowiak "It’s scare tactics on behalf of the Democrats and they're doing this at a time when people are already concerned about coronavirus impacting our healthcare system and healthcare providers.”
Texas Democrats say the Affordable Care Act continues to save millions of lives while Texas continues to rank dead last in many key healthcare metrics, such as overall uninsured rate and the most amount of uninsured children.
Fletcher says, “here in Houston we have the world's best and cutting edge research that will help us beat this virus but our resources are stretched to the limit by this unrelenting and fast-moving virus.”
Texas Democrats also say in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak, Governor Abbott has only made healthcare worse by refusing to expand Medicaid during his slow and ineffective response to curb this pandemic.
“In El Paso, it's the opposite we don't have enough access to care doctor to patient ratio we face things on the Mexico Texas border," Escobar said.
On Monday former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called on President Donald Trump to drop a legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act in the midst of the global pandemic.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 1 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.
You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.