In response to the vote to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), Texas District 19 congressional candidate Miguel Levario said:
“Recently, House Republicans, including Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19), hastily pushed the American Health Care Act (AHCA). House Republicans chose to repeal crucial elements of the Affordable Care Act including employer and individual mandates and new taxes on high incomes. However, the changes made to the ACA will have severe consequences on Arrington’s congressional district.
First, the AHCA will immediately strip millions of Texans of their healthcare, at least 18,000 in our district alone. Hospitals and clinics will assume the financial burden with uncompensated care costs, with Lubbock county already paying 70 million dollars to provide basic care for those that arrive at the hospital without insurance. This will drastically limit the ability of our hospitals to offer care.
Second, the bill’s drastic change to federal Medicaid financing will result in unfair and inefficient administering of the Medicaid program. Medicaid’s change will have direct impact on the thousands of residents in Arrington’s district who are covered by the program. The rural health delivery systems will surely face significant cuts that cannot be afforded by the most vulnerable groups of people such as the disabled, poor and elderly. Most certainly devastating are the service cuts that will be made for children covered under Medicaid. Over two million health care providers, including physicians and nurses, believe Medicaid needs to be protected.
Third, people with pre-existing conditions will be at risk of not having access to affordable insurance. Even without a pre-existing condition, people over the age of 50 (even in good health) will suffer from a costly age tax.
Finally, the AHCA is a financially irresponsible decision, voted to pass without a report from the Congressional Budget Office and without bipartisan support.
Health care is a human right, not a privilege to only those who can afford it. Congressman Arrington chose the wrong side of this issue. Millions of U.S. citizens are facing their mortality while congressional Republicans like Jodey Arrington gleefully celebrated the passage of the AHCA. This is not an example of West Texas values that Congressman Arrington so constantly evokes but rarely exercises. This is not selfless leadership but self-interest at the expense of millions of venerable people. I do not support this legislation and I pledge to continue fighting for the people of District 19.”