Vote will leave half of CD6 residents without affordable healthcare

Waxahachie, TX, May 4, 2017 – Jana Lynne Sanchez, Democratic Candidate for US Congress, called out Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) on Thursday for his support of the Republican healthcare bill AHCA that will deprive half of his non-elderly constituents, those with pre-existing conditions, of affordable healthcare. The bill will be voted on Thursday and is expected to pass following changes made to suit members of the Freedom Caucus, of which Barton is member.

Barton is preparing to vote “yes” on the healthcare bill despite his public acknowledgement that the Texas legislature, controlled by Republicans, “would lead the parade to opt out of all the federal mandates.” Texas will be able to opt out of the requirement under ACA that insurers must not discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions.

According to a report published by the Center for American Progress based on 2015 data, of the approximately 743,000 people who reside In Representative Barton’s District 6, there are 320,000 non- elderly residents, or 49 per cent, who have pre-existing conditions.

“By pushing for and backing this latest bill, Barton is putting the lives of many of his constituents with pre-existing conditions at risk, and that’s just unacceptable,” said Sanchez. “This clearly illustrates how he feels about his constituency – the people he should be serving. Barton puts ideology and staying in favor with the Washington elite above the lives of his constituents. It’s interesting to note that Congress is keeping ACA provisions for itself,” she added.

The American Medical Association, the American Association of Retired Persons, and at least 10 other organizations representing patients, oppose this latest version of the AHCA. Under the plan, states can apply for waivers, which in effect would allow insurance companies to charge consumers higher rates based on the status of their health. According to these patient groups, the additional $8 billion the Upton proposal brings to the table is just a drop in the bucket based on what’s needed.

“Healthy people create prosperity and opportunity. The job of a representative is to create an environment where those he/she represents can create prosperity and opportunity. This vote flies in the face of that obligation,” said Sanchez.