The Democratic Party

of Hood County, Texas

The Right to Health Care

March 20, 2018


I recently received this email from one of our local Democrats (for some reason it seems that all teachers are Democrats). I thought this slice of angst over the American healthcare system would be of interest to our readers. And remember, this is from a retired professional. Many, if not most, Texans are even more locked out of healthcare.

IS POOR HEALTH OUR REWARD? - I’m a retired Texas teacher. As of January 1, 2018, my insurance deductible has risen to $1,500. I have to spend $1,500 on a retired teacher’s stipend before the insurance company will spend a dime. I still pay monthly premiums, but I can’t get sick. I literally can’t afford to be ill. And I’m one of the more fortunate retired teachers. I don’t have dependents on my insurance. Their premiums have become impossible to pay.

In addition, only selective generic prescriptions are covered. That leaves retired teachers requiring specific medications with an unacceptable dilemma. They have two choices: financial ruin or a health crisis. One of my fellow retirees has diabetes. She cannot keep it under control with the generic medications on the approved state list. She also can’t afford a $500 prescription each month.

Is poor health the reward given to teachers after a lifetime of public service?


WHY THE ACA IS NOT THE ANSWER - It isn’t just retired teachers who face insurance nightmares. By undermining the Affordable Care Act and refusing Medicaid expansion, Republican lawmakers in Texas have left the working poor in Texas with very few health care options. Even those who somehow manage to secure insurance on the Marketplace have difficulty finding providers willing to accept the insurance. The following excerpt is from an email I received from a hardworking stylist who pays monthly insurance premiums, but cannot get healthcare when she needs it:

I want to vent to you an issue that I have been having for the last two years pertaining to the marketplace insurance. This is my third year using it and in a small town like Waco, it’s next to impossible to find a general practitioner who is willing to take new patients on. I have been on the phone all morning looking for a provider and have had no luck. Even the community clinic refuses to take the insurance. This is something that not just me, but all my co-workers who have marketplace insurance have issues with. I’m fed up with it. I pay $200 a month out of pocket for insurance I can’t use. I know $200 doesn’t seem like much, but our combined income is only $2000 a month and rent and bills take all of our money. My groceries are paid for by my tips. So, paying out of pocket isn’t an option.

Most urgent cares and Employees Retirement System of Texas doctors are also considered out of network. I’m sitting here crying because my only option is to go to the Emergency Room in order to be able to get ultrasounds done for my Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

HEALTHCARE FOR PROFIT IS A FAILURE - We’ve reached the point of health care privilege. The fortunate few who have quality insurance remain healthy, while the rest of us run the risk of poor health because we either can’t afford insurance or the insurance we have is substandard. When did good health become a privilege for the wealthy?


** IT’S TIME FOR THE U.S. TO JOIN THE REST OF THE WORLD** - Good health is a basic human right. It’s time for the United States to adopt a single payer healthcare system.

Everyone has the right to health care!

Retired Texas Teachers Leaving State Health Plan

The Uninsured in Texas

Single-payer would drastically change health care in America

Photos courtesy of