A Texas Progressive On The Verge– Meet Julie Oliver

Julie Oliver: If we want to truly rebuild our economy so that it is sustainable, let’s lift the burden of healthcare off of employers. Let employees decide where they want to work based on job satisfaction, not how much the employer will pay in health insurance. Let’s allow small businesses, who have been hit the hardest by this administration’s incompetence and lack of leadership, to compete for employed talent.

Last year Julie Oliver was in the midst of a primary battle with another worthy challenger eager to take on crooked conservative incumbent Roger Williams in the gerrymandered 25th congressional district. Julie won her primary 55,721 (70%) to 24,340 (30%) and is now in the midst of a virtual campaign for the R+11 seat she made great strides towards winning in 2018, holding Williams down to a 53.5% win. A multimillionaire used car dealer, Rogers has raised $1,202,255 so far this cycle– to Julie’s $385,778. (In 2012, he wrote his campaign a check for $330,000 to buy the election.)

In 2018 Julie trounced Williams in the district’s biggest county, Travis, and beat him by an even bigger margin in Bell County. This cycle, she is aiming to make bigger inroads into traditionally Republican Johnson, Hays, Burnet and Hill counties. But not by running on a GOP-lite platform. Yesterday she told us that she and her family “are in day 23 of social and physical distancing. We’re one of the very fortunate families who still have income, but like millions of Americans we’re unsure how long that will continue, or what happens next. As front-line healthcare workers who are making the absolute best they can out of an impossible situation continue to step up and serve those who need help, the lack of a coordinated federal response to the global pandemic of COVID-19 is only making matters worse.”

If you agree Julie would make a great replacement for anti-healthcare fanatic and Trump stooge Roger Williams, please click on the Taking Back Texas thermometer below and contribute what you can.

She told us that Medicare for All is taking hold among more and more Texas voters in the midst of this pandemic:”

It has driven home how badly we need those who value science, expertise, and competence to serve in positions of public trust.

But it has also underscored how broken and utterly inadequate our healthcare status quo really is– and how wobbly our economy was for so many in this country in the first place.

Goal ThermometerI watched as our Congressman, a multi-millionaire Republican career politician from Weatherford, TX, voted to end protections for people like my son– who we refer to as the walking pre-existing condition– and I knew that I had to run.

I knew that not only was our healthcare status quo immoral, it was inefficient, expensive, and produced suboptimal outcomes, because I spent a 15-year-long career in healthcare finance. When folks don’t have insurance, they go to the ER for healthcare, and this in turn drives up the cost of healthcare for everyone.

I had no money, no party machine, no fancy insider connections, no list of donors waiting to write checks– I was a total novice– and in my naïveté, I thought if only I could explain to folks how broken the U.S. healthcare finance system was and how universal coverage could actually lower our healthcare costs and improve our healthcare outcomes, Republicans (who have historically run as “champions” of fiscal conservatism) would end their assault on healthcare in America.

We all know that’s not how things work. Congress has been utterly corroded and captured by corporate money– from the pharmaceutical industry to the for-profit insurance industry– with members of both political parties susceptible to its influence.

But I still believe that we can change how we do politics– and how we deliver healthcare in this country. It is an urgent priority, made only more severe by a global pandemic that threatens to overwhelm our healthcare system.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, nearly five million Texans did not have health insurance, twice the national average.

In this past week another 6.6 million people nationally filed for unemployment; this doesn’t include the 3.3 filings the week before or the independent contractors who lost clients during the same week.

Not everyone who loses their job will have insurance tied to that job. But for the folks who had insurance prior to getting laid off, if they cannot afford their COBRA coverage, they will join the ranks of the unemployed and uninsured. 6.6 million people lost their jobs in a single week, and that number is only going to grow over the next six to twelve weeks.

It shouldn’t take millions of people losing their jobs to show us how broken our healthcare status quo is.

We should have decoupled insurance from employment in this country long ago and caught up with the rest of the developed world– now it is imperative that we do so. It never made sense for us to permit for-profit insurance companies to create artificially small risk pools that allow them to drive up costs for everyone while making billions in annual profits from human suffering. It’s why I’m fighting for Medicare for All– one comprehensive, nationwide risk pool.

My hope on the other side of the pandemic is that we do not repeat the mistakes that Democrats and Republicans made following the Great Recession of 2009. We have seen the pattern of allowing Congress to use a crisis to grant gigantic tax cuts to corporations paired with massive upward transfer of wealth, with all of the gains going to those at the top while the rest of the country struggles to get by without basic public goods like healthcare and paid sick leave.

If we want to truly rebuild our economy so that it is sustainable, let’s lift the burden of healthcare off of employers. Let employees decide where they want to work based on job satisfaction, not how much the employer will pay in health insurance. Let’s allow small businesses, who have been hit the hardest by this administration’s incompetence and lack of leadership, to compete for employed talent.

And let’s do the right thing by our fellow human beings and ensure that every single person in this country can see a doctor, afford prescriptions, and be well enough to live to their full potential.

Let’s pass Medicare for All.

Howie: This ad shows you just what Julie is made of. Imagine if she were able to fight with this passion in Congress. If you are able, please consider helping her flip TX-25 with a contribution of any denomination. It all adds up! Thanks for always doing what you can to help make a better world for all of us.

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