That’s Why I’m a Democrat

I am an American, a Texan and then a New Braunfelsian. Before that I am a mom, a daughter, a wife and a friend. And after all of that yes, I am a democrat. I didn’t inherit that ideology. I learned it based on values that I’ve acquired through life events; I choose my geography and political affiliation based on what’s best for me and my family.

In my family we believe women’s rights are human rights and no-one should be denied healthcare for pre-existing conditions. We believe in border-security and no adult or child should be jailed for seeking legal refuge. We believe in science and that humans are doing avoidable damage to our planet. We believe in public education for all children. We believe we are owed social security we paid into, and that teachers deserve pensions they have earned. We believe that love is love, kindness is everything and civil rights belong to all humans.

Stop by our County Democratic Party office any day at 1592 W. San Antonio M-F, 10am-6pm; you’ll likely find dedicated, fun-loving democrats working together to help our less-fortunate neighbors. We’re ready to listen and to lend a helping hand.  

We’re a growing group of compassionate locals working for the common good of all people. We care very much about our community and invite anyone and everyone to join us. There is always room for one more at our table. That’s why I’m here. And that’s why I’m a democrat.

Roy’s Healthcare Freedom Act is Anything But

Chip Roy, currently CD21’s Representative, said that he has been working to see Washington get out of the healthcare system. He has released his solution, named the Healthcare Freedom Act (H.R. 3594). This bill would expand today’s Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to make them available to everyone and increases the amount that can be contributed yearly to $12,000 per individual or $24,000 for a couple that files a joint tax return. This is a good thing for those who have enough extra after paying for their living expenses to put a lot of money into an HSA, which is fully tax free when paid in and when withdrawn for a health care expenditure. 

Roy suggests that employers should switch to making contributions to their employees’ HSAs versus a group insurance plan. He recommends that individuals use the money from their HSAs to enter into a Direct Primary Care contract with their family doctors. Under this type of arrangement, the physician agrees to provide any and all primary care service for a monthly fee from the patient. Any need for specialists, labs, imaging, surgery, etc, would theoretically be covered by the money in the HSA, and possibly coupled with a high deductible insurance plan. Roy states ‘There should be a safety net to ensure no one falls through the cracks.’ 

H.R. 3594 only provides for a change in the amount that can be contributed to an HSA and enables anyone to be eligible to set one up. All of the rest of Roy’s plan is his take on what else should/could happen and his take on the resulting benefit to the patient

Here are the flaws in Roy’s approach:

  1. A substantial portion of the population do not have the means to regularly put a sufficient amount of money into an HSA to make it truly useful.
  2. Who provides the ‘safety net’ that Roy mentions?
  3. The Healthcare Freedom Act would be helpful to some but is not a replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act. If his plan were coupled with expanding Medicaid in Texas as 38 other states have already done, it would address the safety net issue.