Beto O'Rourke calls for Texas to expand Medicaid

Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeElection Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue White vote is 'fundamental problem' for Texas Dems, political analysts says Houston Chronicle endorses Beto O'Rourke in Texas Senate race MORE (D-Texas) on Monday called for the state of Texas to expand Medicaid.

"Texas should expand Medicaid today," O'Rourke, who is challenging Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDemocrats slide in battle for Senate O'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue MORE (R-Texas), for a U.S. Senate seat this November, tweeted, linking to an editorial from The Houston Chronicle about the program that helps people with limited resources receive medical care. 

The editorial explains that a consumer survey from the Texas Medical Center found that most people in the U.S. believe it would be beneficial for their state to expand Medicaid. It also discovered that 60 percent of Texas residents polled believe the state would be healthier if more people had access to Medicaid insurance. 

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"In fact, 64 percent of those polled in the 17 states that have not expanded Medicaid said they think more people should be covered by the federally supported health insurance program," the editorial board writes.

But most Texas lawmakers have strongly opposed an expansion of Medicaid, The Chronicle editorial board writes. 

O'Rourke has also repeatedly called for more improvements to the nation's health-care system. 

On his Senate campaign website, he argues that expanding Medicaid to "cover more Texans and protecting the Medicaid guarantee for vulnerable children, the disabled, and the elderly" would help transform health care in the state. 

While Texas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate in three decades, O'Rourke has gained considerable momentum in his bid to unseat Cruz. 

A poll released last week by CBS Dallas-Forth Worth/Dixie Strategies found that Cruz held a narrow 4-point lead over O'Rourke. According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Cruz has a 4.5-point lead.