No Medicaid Expansion – No Travis Clardy
Official Statement from Alec Johnson
Democratic Candidate for Texas State House District 11
Turning to consider the specifics of Clardy’s contract with Memorial Hospital, his
$120,000 annual retainer – that’s right, $120,000 a year — seems to be a very poor
bargain for Nacogdoches County. And that’s not all hear earns. Clardy bills at least
$575 per hour. Also, he can bill simultaneously for the time of other lawyers who
work for the Kelly-Hart Law Firm he’s a partner of. It’s very hard to see how the
cash strapped Memorial Hospital gains more than it loses from this kind of gouging.
For all these reasons, If Travis Clardy will not resign, I call on the Memorial
Hospital Board to terminate his contract with the utmost speed. He clearly has
conflicts of interest that adversely impact Memorial Hospital and the County of
Nacogdoches that it serves. Better representation for far less cost is freely available
by other competent attorneys. Memorial Hospital and the citizens of Nacogdoches
can do better and deserve better representation than Travis Clardy provides.
At the recent Candidate Forum that took place in Nacogdoches, Travis Clardy made
clear his opposition to Medicaid Expansion. His opposition is at odds with the clear
needs of Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital, which employs him as their attorney. It
also stands against the needs of upwards of one million Texans who lack adequate
medical coverage. And it stands against the desires of Texas voters who support
Medicaid Expansion – according to a poll conducted last June by the Kaiser Family
Foundation – by an overwhelming 64%.
Memorial Hospital serves a large number of uninsured working poor patients.
Medicaid Expansion would cover 41-cents on the dollar of those expenses that
Memorial must now shoulder without assistance. This would likely bring in millions
of dollars and go far towards reversing the budget crisis the hospital is now struggling
Medicaid provides care to the elderly in nursing homes, the disabled, pregnant
women, infants, and children: black, brown, and white, and helps sustain our own
local hospitals which care for the uninsured working poor. Medicaid has done much
to sustain the health and well-being of Texas citizens. It has sustained our nursing
home patients, healthcare employees, and related businesses. Medicaid services are
intricately tied into our lives and community. In fact, Medicaid empowers
communities to manage their well-being locally.
Refusing to accept Medicaid Expansion means Clardy is happy to have Texas turn
its back on $100 billion that would close the coverage gap for between 700,000 and
1,000,000 Texans currently without coverage of any kind.
Because so many Texans lack coverage, refusing to accept Medicaid Expansion
leads to premature deaths estimated between 5,000 and 8,400 per year. Given that
Medicaid Expansion could have been accepted six years ago, somewhere between
30,000 and over 50,000 Texans may have died prematurely.
Clardy wants to wait for an alternative to Medicaid Expansion, one that relies on
block grants, to somehow come into existence. Block grants are a poor alternative, as
the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities makes clear. Block grants, “strip away the
federal commitment to help vulnerable individuals and families who are eligible for
these programs when they need them. Fixed annual funding would render the
programs unable to automatically respond to increased need, as they do today. As
need increases, states would have to cut eligibility or benefits or establish waiting lists
to stay within capped funding.”
Clardy claims he doesn’t have confidence in the Federal Government to create
solutions, which is ironic given that the Republican Party he belongs to controls all
three branches of government. He says he has confidence that the Texas legislature
can address this crisis itself. Given how poorly the State of Texas has addressed the
Education Funding crisis, something Clardy readily admits to, it’s hard to imagine
that the families of the thousands of people who die unnecessarily every year would
be much impressed by this claim.
Beyond the clear benefits Medicaid Expansion would have in improving the health
of Texans and lowering the State’s mortality rate, it would also give a significant
boost to economic growth and employment. According to the Billy Hamilton
Consulting firm Medicaid Expansion would have boosted, “Texas economic output
by $67.9 billion during fiscal 2014-17.” It would have also added an estimated
626,000 jobs paying an average annual salary of $50,818. If we move to accept
Medicaid Expansion, there’s no reason to believe Texas wouldn’t see quite similar
very positive economic outcomes.
Clardy should Resign or be Removed
“For all these reasons,” I demand, “If Travis Clardy will not resign, I call on the Memorial Hospital Board to terminate his contract with the utmost speed. He clearly has conflicts of interest that adversely impact Memorial Hospital and the County of Nacogdoches that it serves. Better representation for far less cost is freely available by other competent attorneys. Memorial Hospital and the citizens of Nacogdoches can do better and deserve better representation than Travis Clardy provides.”
Democratic Candidate, Shirley Layton, running for State Senate District 3 and Sandy McCorvey, Democratic Candidate for Nacogdoches County Commissioner Pct 2, have agreed join me, endorsing my statement and calling for Travis Clardy to resign or have his contract terminated by the Hospital Board. They will be appearing with me at joint Press Conference Wednesday morning at 11 AM at Nacogdoches Democratic Party HQ, 901 E Main Street, Nacogdoches 75961.
You may or may not also be aware that Travis Clardy is one of the representatives of a victim of horrendous public corruption involving murders, fraud, forgery and public cover up by authorities. In 2016 when Family members made contact with state representative Travis Clardy they were ignored, receiving no response ever.