Tuesday, August 18, 2009

National Healthcare Debate Came To Dallas On Monday

ABC Affiliate Channel 8 News - The national health care debate came to Dallas on Monday:
A few hundred invited guests of the debaters and local health care organizations packed Cityplace Conference Center, listening to Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Republican Rep. Pete Sessions, both of Dallas, debate healthcare reform. So far, this townhall discussion is the only bipartisan congressional town hall meeting on health care in the nation during the August recess. Johnson is a registered nurse with 15 years' experience at patients' bedsides.

Organizers said they couldn't be more pleased with the outcome of the two-and-a-half hour meeting at Cityplace. The audience was very respectful of the speakers, and that gave everyone involved time to absorb a lot of information about the pros and cons of health care reform.

Nearly a quarter of the state's 24 million people are uninsured, and North Texas has some of the highest health care costs in the state. Johnson said that in 2008, there were 690 personal bankruptcies in her district, primarily because of health care costs. She also cited Parkland Memorial Hospital's more than $500 million in uncompensated care to treat the uninsured.

This year, Texans and their employers are paying $1,800 per family and $630 per individual in higher premiums to help pay for the uninsured, according to the Center for American Progress, primarily a Democratic think tank. The cost shift represents about 13 percent of all private premiums paid, far more than the national average – slightly above 8 percent.

For full story and ABC Affiliate Channel 8 News video click here and here.
Full video of complete Dallas town hall discussion on CBS Affiliate channel 11 click here.
Noted with picture in the NYTimes here.
Noted with picture in Reuters here.

Texas has the highest percentage of those without health insurance in the entire country. A U.S. Census Bureau report released last August showed that nearly 25 percent of Texans (just over 5.5 million residents) lacked insurance (compared to a national average of 15.5 percent). A Families USA report released in March found that the number of uninsured in Texas throughout 2007 and 2008 is much higher, around 9.3 million:
The report went further to say that 7.5 million Texans were uninsured for six months or more during that same time period and about 82.6 percent, were in working families, either working full or part-time.
An estimated 5,550 Texans are losing their health coverage each week, Families USA says in another report out in July 2009. “Rising like a deadly tide, escalating health care costs will have caused 866,580 Texans to lose their health coverage between January 2008 and December 2010,” the organization says.
Selected videos of the event from the iflizwerequeen YouTube channel:

August 17, 2009 Mary Warren, President Park Cities/Central Dallas Democrats is shown in this video clip outside the Conference Center where Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D) and Pete Sessions (R) are scheduled to appear in a panel discussion on health care reform. Those who stood for healthcare reform in the crowd on the outside outnumbered those who were against it five to one. More citizens should get out there with their Flip videos and capture the truth. AMERICANS DO WANT HEALTH CARE REFORM AND NOW.

August 17, 2009 The numbers grew as the time drew closer to the scheduled panel discussion with Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson and Pete Sessions.

However the ratio remained as you see it in these two videos--about 5 to 1 in favor of health care reform

This young woman and her husband are both cancer patients and they have two young children. Her healthcare insurance is paid for by her employer. However she worries about her job security since she works in the financial industry. If she loses her job, she and her husband are uninsurable--tell that to their two young children.

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