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Margret Torres, who is an ACORN member and former paralegal with a college degree in communications, is not is someone who you would typically think would be without health insurance, but she is just one of more than five million Texans with no health insurance.
"I have a brain tumor that is now in remission, but it is impossible for me to get good health coverage. I tried to get health insurance, but the only coverage I could get was too expensive and excluded anything having to do with my tumor. Without proper healthcare, my health has continued to go downhill. That makes it harder for me to stay employed. Not having health insurance affects everything in my life."
Torres spoke out about the health care crisis along with other Houston residents at a town hall meeting hosted by a both state representatives and several non-profit groups.
"With so many Texans being uninsured and underinsured, it's important for the Legislature to hear the concerns of our constituents on this issue. All Texans should have access to affordable healthcare." said Representative Coleman, who has been a champion of health care in the Texas Legislature and serves on the Public Health committee.
"Increasing access to private health insurance would benefit consumers and insurers, and it would stabilize Texas' health care system for all of us," said Bee Moorhead, director of the interfaith advocacy group Texas Impact. "With the ongoing Sunset review of the Texas Department of Insurance, it's a great time for legislators to strengthen the market so more Texans can participate in it."
“State agencies must go through a sunset review every twelve years” explains TexPIRG staff member Christopher Whitaker, “the process only provides one chance for public testimony and so our coalition is holding these town hall meetings to give the public multiple chances to have their say on health care.”
Several religious and non-profit groups will present their case for insurance reform at a hearing on June 24th. The reforms include rate regulation for health insurance, and strengthening the state agencies that oversee health insurance.
Coalition member and deputy director of the Texas Legal Services Center Bruce Bower said, “The hard-working people of Texas deserve health insurance at a cost they can afford that provides timely access to comprehensive high quality health care.”
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