Sunday, September 11, 2016

A "miracle" that never really was

The “Texas Miracle” is no more, in fact it never really was. Texas women are suffering high rates of death in child birth or shortly thereafter and our economy has soured with the downturn in oil and natural gas prices.

Recent reports show maternal death rates have doubled in recent years making Texas the most deadly state in which to give birth. In fact if we were a stand alone nation we’d be worse than every other developed country. There is as yet no definitive answer to why more Texas women die in child birth or for associated reasons but it’s not hard to imagine that the fact that Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation might have something to do with it. You can thank our Republican leadership for that since our governor and state legislature have refused to accept Medicaid expansion even though the federal government will cover 90% of the cost.

There is also a likely connection to our Republican led government cutting funding to Planned Parenthood and other providers of women’s health care. There is certainly a connection to the increased number of births covered by Medicaid.  

When running for governor in 2014 Greg Abbott promised continued growth of the economy and that we would be number one in the United States. He has failed miserably; Texas has fallen from third in the nation to twenty first. Republicans have taken credit for a strong economy in Texas for the last 20 years which they claimed was due to a “business friendly” read low tax, low service government. No change in either taxes or services have occurred, the rest of the country continues to recover from the 2007 Wall Street implosion and yet Texas’ economy is well on its way to the bottom.

When Greg Abbott sought the governorship in 2014 he said he didn’t want Texas to be like California, well he got is wish. MassachusettsOregon, Delaware, Colorado and California are ranked as the top five economies in the nation by Governing magazine. The one thing they all have in common is Democratic leadership in the governor’s mansion and the legislature. Some of those states have raised the minimum wage, some have increased spending on infrastructure, they’ve all accepted Medicaid expansion. Remember that expanding Medicaid not only means more people get health care it also means more people are employed providing health care and those people spend money and buy houses.

In short our Republican leadership has taken the wrong road and all of Texas is suffering for it. We have an opportunity in November to start cleaning house. The only way that happens if we all vote so take a family member, take a neighbor or take a friend and if anyone tells you that their vote doesn’t make a difference or they’re all alike remind them that we could be growing like California instead of tanking like Kansas.

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