Health Fair, Press Conference by representatives
HARRIS COUNTY – Federal, state and local Democratic office holders held a joint news conference, and health fair, on Sunday at the Greater Jerusalem Baptist Church on Jensen Drive.
The purpose of the meeting was to call attention to the possibility that the Republican led Congress will change or eliminate the current ACA healthcare program, also known as Obama Care.
The meeting was sponsored by Congressmen Gene Green, and Al Green. Gene Green reminded the audience that the public can still sign up for ACA, the Affordable Care Act, until January 31. Commenting on the Republican attempt to replace the ACA act, he said “Mend it-Don’t End it.”
In some fiery rhetoric, Al Green said that if “TrumpCare” replaces “ObamaCare” some 20 to 30 million people will lose health care. The local Harris Health department will also lose money. He commented that he and Gene Green had worked together on this issue since 2005, and he characterized Gene as “the Friend of the Working People.”
Sylvia Garcia said that now in Texas 1 million people rely on ACA, and the state should expand it to include Medicaid for an additional 1.2 to 1.3 million who do not now have healthcare. She derided the Republican plan as “TrumpNoCare.”
Walle said that as a member of the budget committee in the state legislature, he is working to keep the ACA program and expand Medicaid. He angrily denounced what he termed failed leadership at the state level.
He characterized the need for the ACA act as a matter of Life and Death, and the public need the vital health coverage that the state is withholding.
He reminded the audience that the main beneficiary of Medicaid is the elderly and children.
Commissioner Rodney Ellis, recently elected to his position in Harris County Precinct 1, said that the ACA act is the most important issue facing the county, because healthcare is the largest item in the budget, with the justice system following second. However, he noted that much expense related the administering the justice system, and jail, is related to healthcare costs.