Politics or People?

How Hidalgo County, Texas Stands To Benefit from Obamacare
While conservatives put politics over people, Reps. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Filemon Vela (D-TX) are putting their 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 business. 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 Hidalgo County, TX are among those who stand to benefit the most from Obamacare. Democratic Reps. Ruben Hinojosa, Henry Cuellar, and Filemon Vela, who represent Hidalgo County, are doing their job and helping their constituents take advantage of the law and its benefits - like free preventative care, lower premiums and ensuring coverage for pre-existing conditions. Reps. Ruben Hinojosa, Henry Cuellar, and Filemon Vela recognize that Obamacare is the law of the land and it is time to make sure it works for people and businesses in their district. It’s time for conservatives to stop refighting old political games and start following Reps. Hinojosa, Cuellar, and Vela’s lead to make sure their constituents have the information they need to take advantage of the benefits and enroll in health care.

Hidalgo County Facts:
265,156 are uninsured: Of the 696,062 people in Hidalgo County under age 65, 38.1 percent are uninsured. Among over 3,100 counties in the country, that is the 7th highest rate of uninsured residents – and the very highest in the nation among counties with populations over 25,000.i 135,699 women are uninsured. In Hidalgo County, 38.0 percent of women under age 65 are uninsured — placing it in very lowest percentile among all counties in the nation and the 4th worst county out of over 3,100 counties overall. ii 141,078 young people are uninsured. In Hidalgo County, 58.0 percent of young people age 18 to 39 lack health insurance. Out of over 3,100 counties in the nation, only one has a higher rate of uninsured in this age group.iii 95,915 uninsured are eligible for subsidies or tax credits. In Hidalgo County, 37.1 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 worst one percent among all counties in the nation and the 11th worst county overall.iv 267,968 Hispanics are uninsured. In Hidalgo County, 39.3 percent of Hispanics are uninsured— placing it in the 27th percentile among all counties in the nation.v

High rate of diabetes. The county has a rate of diabetes prevalence that is more than 18 percent higher than the national average, at 9.8 percent of the population.vi High rate of stroke mortality. Hidalgo County’s stroke mortality rate of those under age 75 is also over the national average, at 12.5 per 100,000 people.vii

Reps. Ruben Hinojosa, Henry Cuellar, and Filemon Vela
Democratic Reps. Ruben Hinojosa, Henry Cuellar, and Filemon Vela, who represent Hidalgo County, recognize that Obamacare is the law of the land and that it’s their job to make sure it works for their constituents and that they understand how to take advantage of its benefits: Rep. Cuellar: “It was the right thing to do for the country.” viii Rep. Cuellar: “This vote [for Healthcare Reform] 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.”ix Rep. Cuellar: “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.”x Rep. Hinojosa: “I will continue to work to ensure that everyone in America has access to affordable and comprehensive health care. As more provisions of the act go into effect over the next few years, American families will see more benefits and have greater access.”xi Rep. Hinojosa: “One year ago, I voted to strengthen the livelihood and well-being of the people of our great nation and particularly for the residents of the 15th Congressional District of Texas by supporting the Affordable Care Act.”xii
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 Ibid. v 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). vi Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Interactive Diabetes Atlases,” 2009, http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/atlas/ (last accessed July 2013). vii 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). viii Henry Cuellar, “Representative Cuellar on Democratic Agenda and Politics,” CSPAN 3 June 2013, http://ww w.cspanvideo.org/program/Cuell (last accessed July 2013). ix Henry Cueller, “Congressman Cuellar Will Vote Yeas on Health Care Reform,” 7 Nov 2009, http://cuellar.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=153884 x 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 xi Ruben Hinojosa, “Affordable Care Act: Update,” 28 June 2012, http://hinojosa.house.gov/press -release/statementcongressman-rub%C3%A9n-hinojosa-supreme-court-upholding-affordable-care-act (last accessed July 2013). xii Ruben Hinojosa, “Keep the Affordable Care Act,” 24 March 2011, http://hinojosa.house.gov/keep -affordable-care-act (last accessed July 2013).
i