Local physicians and law makers across south Texas are coming together, to discuss ways of creating a healthcare act that works for all.
During the 12th annual Border Health Conference, local congressional leaders and physicians talked about the health issues affecting residents along the U.S.- Mexico border.
One of the mains goals of this year’s conference is to influence policy, amidst the uncertainty happening in Washington with Affordable Care Act, and its repealing.
“Uncertainty is pretty good word for the situation we’re in,” said U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D- McAllen. “It’s real. We’re dealing with it. We had a bill that was just shy by a handful of members, that if they had voted on it, it would have come to the house, and the house would have enough votes to get it passed and the president would sign it. It’s not unlikely that it can still happen,” he added.
Although they don’t agree with the repeal of Obamacare, U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D- Brownsville, and gonzalez say the Affordable Healthcare Act has room for improvement.
“Without question around this country, there is a concern with rising premiums,” said Vela. “Secondly, there are some states where insurers are leaving those markets, and we have to do everything we can to make sure people in the states where insurers are leaving have access to insurance. So we have to figure out a way to bring back insurers to those markets,” he added.
In regards to Medicaid expansion, Congressman Vela says that’s one part of the affordable care he doesn’t want to change, but he does want state law makers to take advantage of this.
“To the extent that the Affordable Care Act allows states to expand Medicaid, we need to keep that intact,” said Vela. “To the extent that we have state leadership like we do in Texas, that’s unwilling to expand, we need to do everything we can so they expand medicaid,” he added.
Like the rest of the nation, both congressmen say they just want a healthcare plan that works for all.
“Americans just want something that works, where they can get good healthcare and universal care for all Americans. I think that’s something we’re all trying to achieve,” said Gonzalez.
Congressmen Vela and Gonzalez will meet with other congressional leaders in September. They hope that by then, they can agree on a healthcare plan that works for all.