Politics or People? How Webb County, Texas Stands To Benefit from Obamacare
While conservatives put politics over people, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) is putting his constituents first.
Starting October 1, millions of Americans will finally be able to sign up to purchase quality, affordable health care for the first time when the new Obamacare marketplaces open for enrollment. Many of these same Americans and others will be eligible for subsidies that will make coverage even more affordable. And come January 1, 2014, the worst abuses of the insurance industry, including denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions, will be history. But many conservatives in Congress and their allies are refighting old political battles and refusing to help people and businesses from even finding out how the law will work and how to take advantage of its benefits. Sadly, many of these opponents of Obamacare represent counties with some of the highest rates of uninsured people in the nation. Out of the more than 3,100 counties in the nation, the residents of Webb County, Texas are among those who stand to benefit the most from Obamacare. Democratic Rep. Cuellar, who represents Webb County, is doing his job and helping his constituents take advantage of the law and its benefits - like free preventative care, lower premiums and ensuring coverage for pre-existing conditions. Rep. Cuellar recognizes that Obamacare is the law of the land and it is time to make sure it works for people and businesses in his district. It’s time for conservatives to stop refighting old political games and start following Rep. Cuellar’s lead to make sure their constituents have the information they need to take advantage of the benefits and enroll in health care.
Webb County Facts:
83,761 are uninsured. Of the 227,616 people in Webb County under age 65, 36.8 percent are uninsured. Among over 3,100 counties in the country, that is the 12th highest rate of uninsured residents.i 43,645 women are uninsured. In Webb County, 37.4 percent of women under age 65 are uninsured — placing it in the worst one percent among all counties in the nation and the 9th worst county out of over 3,100 counties overallii 41,600 young people are uninsured. In Webb County, 52.8 percent of young people age 18 to 39 – including 54.5 percent of men in that age group – lack health insurance. That is bad enough to put it in the 1st percentile among all counties in the nation and the 15th worst county overall.iii 32,734 uninsured are eligible for subsidies or tax credits. In Webb County, 36.2 percent of those making between 138 and 400 percent of the federal poverty line – a key group that will qualify for insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act – are uninsured. Among this group, it is in the 1st percentile among all counties in the nation and the 20th worst county out of over 3,100 counties overall. 86,153 Hispanics are uninsured. In Webb County, 36.8 percent of Hispanics are uninsured— placing it in the 32nd percentile among all counties in the nation.iv High rate of stroke. Webb County’s stroke mortality rate of those under age 75 is 14.1 per 100,000 people – 20 percent over the national average.v
High rate of diabetes. The county also has a rate of diabetes prevalence that is above the national average, at 8.5 percent of the population.vi
Rep. Henry Cuellar
Democratic Rep. Cuellar, who represents Webb County, recognizes that Obamacare is the law of the land and that it’s his job to make sure it works for his constituents and that they understand how to take advantage of its benefits: “It was the right thing to do for the country.” vii “The Affordable Care Act continues to benefit Americans, especially young adults, who can now be secure in knowing that they will not be burdened with excessive healthcare costs should they get sick.”viii “Already, we’ve helped thousands of seniors, small businesses and families with new health care choices. The health care reform law is giving us commonsense solutions to benefit all Americans.”ix “This vote [for the Affordable Care Act] is a once in a lifetime opportunity to renew a promise that all Americans are created equal and that every American is worthy of access to quality affordable health care.”x
Census Bureau, "Small Area Health Insurance Estimates," 2010. http://www.census.gov/did/www/sahie/data/interactive/ (last accessed July 2013). ii Ibid. iii Ibid. iv Census Bureau, "American Community Survey," 3-year estimates 2008-2010. Accessed using American Fact Finder: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml (last accessed July 2013). v Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke Tables,” 3-year estimates 20082010, http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/DHDSPAtlas/reports.aspx (last accessed July 2013). vi Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Interactive Diabetes Atlases,” 2009, http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/atlas/ (last accessed July 2013). vii Henry Cuellar, “Representative Cuellar on Democratic Agenda and Politics,” CSPAN 3 June 2013, http://www.c spanvideo.org/program/Cuell (last accessed July 2013). viii Henry Cuellar, “Health Care Law Provides More Young Adults to Have Health Insurance” 14 Sep 2012, http://cuellar.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=260066 ix Henry Cuellar, “New Health Plan for Uninsured Texans with Pre-Existing Conditions,” 1 July 2010, http://cuellar.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=193421 (last accessed July 2013). x Henry Cueller, “Congressman Cuellar Will Vote Yeas on Health Care Reform,” 7 Nov 2009, http://cuellar.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=153884