CPPP Urges Governor to Disavow Attacks on Medicare and Medicaid, Start Digging Texas Out of Health Care Hole

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August 18, 2009

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Austin, Texas—The Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) today released the following statement from CPPP Associate Director Anne Dunkelberg decrying attacks made against Medicare and Medicaid during the governor’s press conference on health reform.

"We find it astounding that the governor, in a press conference on health care, would refer to Texas as the 'envy of the nation.' Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country, along with the largest number and the largest percentage of children without health insurance. Our deep health care hole means that Texas has the most to gain from health reform. Health reform would provide security and stability for Texans who have insurance today and provide new, affordable coverage for millions of uninsured Texans."

"For the governor to host a press conference today during which successful programs for the elderly, people with disabilities, and poor children are referred to by presenters to as an 'onslaught' is unconscionable.

"Rather than offering an alternative proposal to make decent, affordable care available to all Texans, the governor and the presenters appeared to attack the rationale for proven and effective programs. Incredibly, the report highlighted during the press conference blames Medicare and Medicaid, and not a broken health insurance system, for the health crisis in the U.S.

"Rather than attack Medicare and Medicaid, the governor should focus on the real problem: the staggering number of Texans who lack health insurance. We should build on the success of Medicare and Medicaid to ensure all Texans have access to health care. Health reform is Texas’ best hope for lowering our staggering rates of uninsured and for getting health care costs under control."

The Center for Public Policy Priorities also released updated fact sheets to set the record straight on national health reform: