Dallas County Judge calls for expanded health care

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by SEBASTIAN ROBERTSON

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaasebastian

WFAA

Posted on January 20, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 20 at 6:19 PM

DALLAS — Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins held a rally Monday before a parade in South Dallas honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Jenkins said he supports President Obama's health care reforms while calling for the expansion of Medicaid statewide.

"There is no form of inequality more vicious than the lack of health care," Jenkins said.

Jenkins and others are fighting an uphill against the state’s top Republicans. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said earlier this year he won't expand Medicaid, and refuses to create health care exchanges.

That means Texans are forced to use the federal HealthCare.gov to get insurance.

"I say if our leaders in Austin won’t help us sign up the uninsured in Texas, than please sit down and stay out of the way while the rest of us do it for you," Jenkins said.

It was a bumpy and bug-ridden roll out for Healthcare.gov, sending thousands to meet with health care navigators in person.

Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Wade Emmert said his party has long called for health care reform, but says this isn't it.

"A health care reform that continues the bureaucracy that grows the bureaucracy, to a sixth of our economy is not going to work, and we see that from HealthCare.gov," Emmert said.

Judge Jenkins points to what he calls health care "discrimination," and used Monday's address as an opportunity to tie his cause to King's message.

“People forget that Dr. King fought so hard for health care for all Americans, for equality in health care.”

E-mail srobertson@wfaa.com

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