Rep. John H. Bucy III (D) took an opportunity to discuss his platforms and the importance of bipartisan politics at Hill Country News’ inaugural Taproom Talk, led by HCN Editor at Large Richard Stone.
(Watch the video here.)
Bucy said medicaid expansion is the most important thing Texas can do right now to help Texans.
“It’s the biggest tool in the toolbox, and it should be supported by everyone,” Bucy said.
Bucy explained that medicaid expansion became a partisan issue, due to it being an off-shoot of the Affordable Care Act passed during the Obama administration. He explained that every Texan is paying taxes for medicaid expansion, but that our tax dollars for that expansion are send to California, Florida and the other 34 states that supports medicaid expansion.
“We want those tax dollars to go toward Texan healthcare needs,” Bucy said. “It’s not a debate about ‘Are we going to pay for it?’ We already are, the debate is ‘Are we going to get healthcare for the 1.4 million Texans who need it?’”
Medicaid expansion is something that state of Texas can get done immediately, Bucy said.
“Let’s move past partisan politics and take care of Texas healthcare,” he said. “Until we do that, what else can we do?”
Equal pay and a living wage are other issues near and dear to Bucy, he said.
“We have to make sure that nobody, regardless of race or gender, is treated differently when it comes to doing the same work as everybody else,” Bucy said. “We know that’s not a reality in today’s world. White men get paid more, and we have to do something about it.”
When Stone asked how Texas can accomplish this at a state level, Bucy said it would mean coming up with laws that guarantee not only equal pay but also a living wage.
“If people are working full-time, they need to be able to live off of that and take care of their family and ultimately, reinvest into our local communities and economy,” Bucy said.
Bucy lost his campaigning for election in 2014, but ran again in 2018 and won by a slim margin.
He said after this loss, he received the worst advice he had ever received, which was “to give up on shared values.” Bucy said he was told that Williamson County was a one-party county.
Bucy, however, prefers to live by the best advice he was ever given. Bucy’s grandfather believed that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” This taught Bucy “to go out every single day and do something to better yourself, better your community and work hard.”
The main thing that drives Bucy is what he calls the Texas Promise.
“We want a better Texas for the future generations and for us that are still living here,” Bucy said. “Improving our education system and making sure Texas has healthcare - without those foundational things, I think success is hard to come by. That’s why we have to work on those things immediately.”