28 Texas Groups Urge Rep. Hurd to Vote No on Health Care Repeal

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Peter Clark, [email protected]

AUSTIN – Twenty-eight Texas organizations sent the following letter to Congressman Will Hurd last night urging him to vote no on the health care repeal bill currently under consideration in the U.S. Congress. According to media reports, the House of Representatives may vote on the bill this week. The vote is expected to be close.

Rep. Hurd, whose district stretches from San Antonio to El Paso and along the Texas-Mexico border, has not stated his position on the bill and is considered one of the “swing votes” that could decide the outcome.

The text of the letter is below:

May 1, 2017

Representative Will Hurd
U.S. House of Representatives
317 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Hurd:

The 28 undersigned Texas organizations write to express our strong opposition to the revised American Health Care Act (AHCA) and urge you to vote against the bill.  Our organizations work on behalf of Texas children, families, patients, and consumers to ensure Texans have access to affordable health care.

As you know, the revised AHCA bill still includes harmful provisions that were in the original legislation introduced in March 2017. Those provisions would:

  • Leave 24 million more Americans uninsured;

  • Increase the cost of insurance for millions of Americans, particularly those over age 50, in rural areas, and/or on a tight budget; and

  • Cut Medicaid funding and protections for Texas children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities.

The new MacArthur amendment would also allow states to:

  • Strip protections for pre-existing conditions; and

  • Strip requirements for insurance companies to cover essential benefits such as maternity care, prescription drugs, and mental health care.

In your district alone, more than 300,000 people are estimated to have pre-existing conditions that would have resulted in denial had they tried to buy coverage in Texas’ pre-ACA individual insurance market. The revised bill would put at risk their access to affordable health care by once again allowing insurers to charge more--possibly much more--to some people with pre-existing conditions. The bill’s provisions for federal or state high-risk pools or reinsurance programs do not guarantee that there will be subsidies to make the higher-priced coverage affordable at all incomes, and the proposed funding falls short of what actuaries say would be needed.

In addition, an estimated 42,400* constituents in your district would lose their health coverage by 2026 under this bill.

Under this plan, Texas would receive less federal funding for providing health care to the low-income children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities who currently rely on Medicaid. These cuts will threaten already-low provider reimbursement rates and increase barriers to care in rural communities.

We urge you to vote no on this bill because it would leave millions without coverage and would not make coverage more affordable. We ask you to vote no to help those who were previously uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions, and to prevent cuts to health care for Texas children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities.

We appreciate your consideration.


Bob Kafka
ADAPT of Texas

Dale Eastman
Chair of Advocacy and Government Relations
Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation

C. Tony Dunn, MD, FACOG
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists-District XI (Texas)

Gretchen Walton
Executive Director
Breast Health Collaborative of Texas

Anne Dunkelberg
Associate Director
Center for Public Policy Priorities

Patrick Bresette
Executive Director
Children's Defense Fund-Texas

Stacy E. Wilson, J.D.
Children’s Hospital Association of Texas

Fred Hines
President and CEO
Clarity Child Guidance Center

Dennis Borel
Executive Director
Coalition of Texans with Disabilities

Christina Buttler 
Navigator Project Manager and Grant Compliance Coordinator
Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living

Mary Faithfull
Executive Director
Disability Rights Texas

Celia Cole
Feeding Texas

Elaine Wiant 
League of Women Voters of Texas

Shannon Lucas
Regional Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs, South Central Region
March of Dimes

Greg Hansch
Public Policy Director
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Texas

Miriam Nisenbaum
Executive Director
National Association of Social Workers/Texas Chapter

Simone Nichols-Segers
Government Relations Manager
National MS Society, Texas

Patty Ducayet
State Long-term Care Ombudsman
Office of the Texas State Long-term Care Ombudsman

Jackie Pontello, J.D.
Executive Director
One Voice Texas: A Collaborative for Health and Human Services

Cathy Cranston
Personal Attendant Coalition of Texas

Kimberly Carter, MD, FACOG
Texas Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Jaime Estrada
Texas Doctors for Social Responsibility

Bee Moorhead
Executive Director
Texas Impact

Michelle Tremillo
Executive Director
Texas Organizing Project

Joyce Elizabeth Mauk, MD
Texas Pediatric Society

Stephanie Rubin
Texans Care for Children

Kyle Piccola
Chief Government and Community Relations Officer
The Arc of Texas

Maggie Jo Buchanan
Southern Director
Young Invincibles

* An updated analysis estimates that 74,700 people in Rep. Hurd's congressional district would lose coverage under the bill.