Monday, June 17, 6 pm

Conversations About Health Care: Visions for the Future of East Texas

Health care promises to be the most critical issue during the next year and leading to the 2020 elections. The League of Women Voters has an acute interest in both the state and national policies that affect residents, especially those in East Texas. They have  planned a 2019 forum that features the best-informed experts on health care costs, types of services, and  how patients can best be served. This panel discussion seeks to set aside any passionate politics surrounding health care legislation and focus on the facts about current and upcoming law. 

Anne Dunkelberg, from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin-based, nonprofit think tank will lead the discussion. Ms. Dunkleberg is one of Texas’ leading experts on health care, state policy, and state budgets. She explains that Texas continues to top the list of uninsured rate. She also can discuss  what impact the recent session of the Texas Legislature can have on patient care. 

Dr. Michele Bosworth, Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer of UT Health Science Center at Tyler. Dr. Bosworth is a family physician in Tyler, with over 16 years of experience. Dr. Bosworth graduated from West Virginia University School of Medicine in 2003.  Bosworth can address the specific status of health care provision in East Texas, as well as those local agencies that work to provide and improve access to quality care.

Dr. John English, M.D. CEO & Medical Director. Bethesda Health Clinic, which provides health services to the uninsured and under-insured.  Dr. English  has been practicing medicine since 1993. Prior to becoming the Medical Director of Bethesda Health Clinic, he practiced medicine at Trinity Clinic in Tyler. He holds a M.D. degree from U.T. Southwestern Medical School and completed his residency at John Peter Smith Hospital. 

Dr. Michael McCrady, Hospitalist, Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital. President-Elect of the Smith County Medical Society.


The forum will answer a number of questions

  • To what degree did the ACA (Obamacare) increase the federal government role in healthcare? How does this affect patients? Would “Medicare for all” proposals increase that federal role more than the ACA? How?  What’s the impact for the individual?
  • Why are US per-person health care costs so much higher than for the other industrialized countries, even though those countries generally have universal health care?
    • What stands in the way of reducing US health care costs?
    • What needs to happen to lower healthcare costs?
    • How can costs for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancers be controlled?
  • What would the implementation of ‘Medicare for All’ have on healthcare services/costs?
  • What is the impact of public/private partnerships, such as ‘Partners for Health’ (East TX Food Bank/St. Paul’s Clinic/UT Health Science) on community health?
  • What steps are being taken to improve preventive care
  • How can consumers be better informed of their healthcare options?
  • How will technology/AI change healthcare delivery in the future?
  • What are the pros/cons of retail health care services (Wal-Mart, CVS, etc.)?
  • What consequences will result if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is eliminated?

In the meantime, check out the CPPP website - - for some really good information about the ACA, the Health Care Insurance Marketplace, and where Smith County and Texas rate in terms of health care coverage for its citizens.


Health Care: The Affordable Care Act

Health Care and the Insurance Marketplace: How Do You Navigate It?

The Affordable Care Act took effect January 1, 2014. Open enrollment began October 1 and  ended March 31, 2014.

The League is dedicated to ensuring access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans. We believe that all Americans should have access to a basic level of care, including disease prevention, primary care (including prenatal and reproductive health), acute long-term care, mental health care and health promotion and education. Over the past 20 years, we have lobbied at the national, state and local levels for health care policy solutions, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to control costs and ensure a basic level of care for all.

For decades, local and state Leagues have lobbied for comprehensive health care reform at all levels of government. Throughout the health care debates of the past few decades, Leagues worked to provide millions of Americans across the country with objective information about the health care system and its significant reforms. This included organizing community education projects, holding public forums and debates, creating and distributing resource materials and engaging members of Congress and leading policy makers and analysts. Our work to advance and expand health care includes:

Protecting and Implementing the Affordable Care Act  The League supported the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare. We are committed to helping Americans understand the Affordable Care Act and its pivotal impact on their lives. Local and state Leagues work with government agencies, health care providers and advocates in order to educate community members about the health care system and ensure that states are implementing the Affordable Care Act to maximize its impact.

What does it mean for Texans? 

What is the health care marketplace? What are the procedures for enrolling in them? What health care services does the plan cover - or deny?

Watch this spot for data and comments about the ACA. 


ACA and Small Businesses

Did you know that an overwhelming majority of Texans work in small businesses?  Small businesses are a driving force behind our state's economy. 

In fact, there are more than 2.2 million small businesses in Texas and they make up more than 98% of our state's employers. For most people, whether or not they have health coverage for themselves or their dependents, largely depends on their job. So, there's a strong connection between some of the choices small businesses make and the health care of children in Texas.

Want to Learn More about the ACA?

The Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and the Insurance Marketplace

Download this League of Women Voters publication to learn the facts.


What LWV-Texas Supports

Action: To achieve equal rights for all; to combat discrimination and poverty; and to provide equal access to housing, employment, quality education, and health care in Texas which would include, among other issues:

Child Health Care Ensure that state budget cuts do not undermine children's access to health care. Improve enrollment and retention for CHIP and Children's Medicaid and maintain effective delivery systems for both. Preserve Texas' public health safety net.

Health Care for the Elderly Support increased funding to provide adequate programs to serve the elderly.

Health Care for Those of Lesser Means Support providing basic health care services for those who are unable to pay. Basic services include emergency care, primary care, preventive care, care for catastrophic illness, nutrition, substance abuse treatment, and health education.

Services for Those with Behavioral Health Needs Maintain and increase funding for services to persons with serious mental illness, and include post-crisis and crisis prevention community care.

Women’s Reproductive Health – The League believes in the constitutional right to privacy, and trusts women to make their own reproductive health care decisions.  We support the inclusion of reproductive health care, including birth control and abortion coverage, in any health benefits package. We believe that denying women access to health care services because of ill-defined religious or moral objections is discrimination based on sex.  We actively oppose attempts to repeal the reproductive health services provided under the Affordable Care Act.