We need laws that value our life, our health and our ability to provide for our loved ones. Texans pride ourselves on being able to provide for our own. We no longer have to choose to be ranked at the bottom -below Mississippi- in health care coverage and maternal mortality.
By expanding Medicaid, we can move our ceiling for adult coverage from ~15% of the federal poverty rate (FPL) to ~135% for 10 cents on the dollar.
Covering adult Texans will help save our rural hospitals, too. Why would anyone turn down that offer?
The FPL is currently $12,490 annual income. Texas’ lawmakers have set the Medicaid eligibility ceiling for adults at under $2,000 per year. We cover almost no adults in Texas.
We can cover adult Texans who currently do not have health coverage by expanding Medicaid to the amount allowed under federal law, ~135%. Medicaid in Texas currently covers some low-income people, families and children, people with disabilities and pregnant women until 2 months after giving birth. Expanding coverage for pregnant women to a year after giving birth will help eliminate Texas’ deadly maternal mortality ranking.
When one is sick, the sickness is consuming. It is difficult to work when sick. It is difficult to provide for ourselves when sick. When one is really sick it is really expensive – not just in the cost of major illness, but also in the lost opportunity cost of productivity. Access to preventive care will save money.
We need laws that provide for a healthy planet. As a Katrina survivor who’s been married to a scientist for almost 30 years, Climate Change is very real and personal to me. We need to green the grid, electrify transportation and clean up existing industries. Together, we can still turn this around - and create good-paying jobs.
Wind turbine service jobs and solar installer jobs are two of the fastest growing jobs in the country. Both require a high school diploma and pay a living wage of over $40,000 per year. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm
Minimum wage has not changed in Texas in a decade. It remains $7.25 an hour - or $15,080 for a year of full time work. For tipped employees, the rate remains $2.13 per hour. While wages remain stagnant, the cost of living and the cost of goods and services has continually risen over the past decade. Texans are having to work more than one full time job to put a roof over their head.
More women than men work minimum wage jobs. More 24-64 year old people work minimum wage jobs. Only 3% of minimum wage jobs are filled by 16-18 year old people, while 14.7% are filled by single mothers and 20% are filled by veterans.
The statewide living wage estimate is $11.03 for 2019. Increasing the minimum wage to a living wage provides a path to break the poverty cycle while stimulating the economy.