Taking Texas' Political Pulse
Uninsured Texans, Ted Cruz and Wendy Davis top this edition of Lone Star politics
The State Legislature has finally wrapped up its marathon session, but that doesn't mean the Lone Star State political news cycle is slowing down. Here's a roundup of the most interesting developments in Texas government.
Texas is #1!
New census data released September 17 shows that once again, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured citizens in the United States. Nearly one in four Texans over the age of 19 lacks basic health insurance. In better news, rates of Texas children being insured has risen to 83.6 percent.
This data comes at a critical time, as we watch our congressional leaders propel us toward an October 1 government shutdown in an attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act. Leading the charge? Our very own Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). For Cruz, who has made his career on dodging rumors that he's actually Canadian and fighting "Obamacare," these next 12 days are truly a make-or-break moment.
While he is certainly working hard to defund the ACA (until vacation starts October 1, y'all!), Cruz has made public few ideas as to how he would actually reform health care for his constituents. He has gone on the record supporting an open market that extends across state lines and tax incentives for those who purchase private insurance. But that's pretty much it.
It's not just government-mandated health insurance that has Cruz tossing and turning at night, though. If the ACA isn't repealed, Cruz says he's worried Texans will become "addicted" to health insurance. According to the Texas Tribune, Cruz recently informed a Kingswood Tea Party group that "[Obama's] strategy is to get as many Americans as possible hooked on the subsidies, addicted to the sugar.”
If you haven't yet realized that you are smarter than most politicians, may this be your moment.
In the days before the September 30 deadline, we will no doubt hear rhetoric from both sides of the aisle about the evils and virtues of the ACA. What we're not likely to hear? An actual compromise.
Wendy Davis deadline
Sometimes a dramatic pause is necessary. Sometimes taking a moment to let suspense build is great. Shakespeare did it, Arthur Miller did it, The Hills did it. But letting three and half months go by with this "will she, won't she" is getting, quite frankly, a bit tiresome.
Mark you calendars, because (unless she pushes it back again) Wendy Davis is making a big announcement on October 3.