The governor should realize that 6.3 million uninsured Texans are also “disabled” and if they become ill or are injured they will suffer, and the state’s taxpayers will be forced to pick up the tab.   Twenty-six percent of all Texans have no healthcare coverage, the highest percentage of any state in the nation.  

Perhaps Perry should visit with fellow Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida. Once a fervent opponent of the Affordable Healthcare Act, Scott is now working with Washington officials in an effort to get health insurance for the nearly four million people in his state who are without coverage. Republican governors in Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico and Ohio, who were once critics of the Affordable Care Act, have now reversed course and are seeking ways that their states can participate in the various programs that the legislation offers.

The payments of health insurance premiums have increased dramatically for Texans during the last twenty years as the costs of health care have risen annually. Consumers have been hit with increased deductibles and copayments, and have witnessed a decrease in covered services.

The Affordable Care Act has and will continue to give relief to families and businesses in Texas. The law allows families to shop for plans in competitive state-run market places called “exchanges.”  Fewer dollars will be coming out of their pockets.   

It will protect consumers from inflated deductibles and unreasonable co-pays and will provide them with discounts on their premiums by providing tax credits. Medicaid coverage will expand under Obamacare, providing coverage to families that previously could not afford it.

The Act is fair and it makes absolutely good sense for Texas and the nation. Preventive health care practices are promoted, doctors and hospitals have incentives to coordinate patient care and millions of insured people in our state will have the peace of mind that comes with having quality health coverage.

When Congress enacted the Social Security Act in 1935, establishing retirement insurance for workers in America, there were critics that argued that the federal government was meddling in state’s rights, and that the program was unnecessary.

Some seventy-eight years later they have been proven to be on the wrong side of the then national debate. Governor Perry should review that history and reconsider his position. I believe that in years to come the Affordable Care Act will be as popular as Social Security. 

Johnson has represented Texas's 30th Congressional District in the House of Representative since 1993. She sits on the Science, Space and Technology and the Transportation and Infrastructure committees.