July 21, 2006

WE love us some Kirk Watson

Yes, I like Kirk. Not in THAT way, but in that 'guy I respect kinda way'. I can't take y'all anywhere, can I?

This week, Kirk's on target about health care... so perfectly on target, in fact, that I wanted to alert you to what the presumptive Senator from Travis County has to say.

Briefly, the speech emphasizes both the dollar and human costs of the holes in the state's health care system, as well as the toll on our economy. It also advocates four critical, common-sense approaches that will dramatically help Texans' health care and the state's budget:

* Cut down on emergency room visits
* Ask for the state's fair share of federal health care money
* Increase health care to children
* Look for creative, innovative, efficient ways of providing health care

Now, if you're like me, you read that list and are as underwhelmed by my creativity as you are disappointed that we're not doing those four things already. Believe me, nothing would make me happier than having to get more inventive about improving health care for Texans. But such is the tragic state of Texas that such a basic to-do list hasn't been done.

Go Kirk!

Hello, Friends.
I'm sure that between this summer's barbecues, swimming, vacations, and, you know, work, you've kept up with the developments on KirkWatson.com. But in case you've been too busy to pay attention to me, I wanted to point you to a speech I gave to a group of Texas hospital administrators about one of the most important and vexing issues facing this state: health care. Here's an excerpt and a link:

"I grew up in a hospital. My mother worked most of my life as a nurse in a hospital. I got the chance to work there too as an orderly. I loved being an orderly, even though the nurses were merciless in finding the nastiest things on earth for me to do.

I'm also passionate about health care. For very personal reasons.

I'm supposed to be dead. As many of you know, I'm a cancer survivor. I would be dead, but for access to excellent, early and frequent health care. I'm one of those people who did not die because I didn't need more health care than I could afford.

I lost my mother Billye Watson to cancer when she was only 62. Daddy died because of cancer 13 months before her, when he was only 66. But, both lived many years fighting that beast because of access to quality health care.

Each day, Liz, our son Preston, and I address the needs of that great kid who is basically on a life support system, working to control his Type 1 diabetes with at least 4 shots of insulin a day and blood tests that are no less frequent than 8-10 times a day.

So, I'm personally committed to assuring health care for Texans. It is a key reason I want to be in public service.

Read More...

Briefly, the speech emphasizes both the dollar and human costs of the holes in the state's health care system, as well as the toll on our economy. It also advocates four critical, common-sense approaches that will dramatically help Texans' health care and the state's budget:

* Cut down on emergency room visits
* Ask for the state's fair share of federal health care money
* Increase health care to children
* Look for creative, innovative, efficient ways of providing health care

Now, if you're like me, you read that list and are as underwhelmed by my creativity as you are disappointed that we're not doing those four things already. Believe me, nothing would make me happier than having to get more inventive about improving health care for Texans. But such is the tragic state of Texas that such a basic to-do list hasn't been done.

If you want to learn more about the challenges facing Texas' health care system, I highly recommend reading Code Red, a report compiled by a distinguished panel of experts and published by the University of Texas System. It provides a true road map for where we need to go and how we need to get there. Seriously, if you read only one high-level policy document this summer (I know there are probably several on your bedside table right now), read this one. Then encourage elected officials to steal its ideas. I don't think the authors will mind.

In other news, I continue to get out in the community to hear what folks are thinking and to share ideas. On Monday, I traveled to South Texas to look at a health care facility there. Also in the last few days, I have talked with:

* A group supporting stem cell research
* The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber Corporate Roundtable Luncheon
* The interns and volunteers at Environment Texas
* Rep. Mark Strama's splendid Campaign Academy for young people
* Residents of Westminster Manor retirement center

This weekend, Preston–who turns 17 next month–and I are headed to Colorado to look at colleges. I'm not sure I'm equipped at this point for three days of low heat, low humidity, and thin oxygen. Hopefully, the separation anxiety will take the edge off.

Thanks, as always, for everything you all do to help Central Texas. Keep having a good summer, and I'll see you soon.



Copyright © 2006 Kirk Watson for Texas Senate. Political advertisement paid for by Kirk Watson for Texas Senate, P.O. Box 2004, Austin, TX, 78768; Rosie Mendoza, Treasurer.
If you do not wish to receive future Watson Wires, reply to this email with the word 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.

Posted by mcblogger at July 21, 2006 03:18 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.mcblogger.com/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/604

Comments

Kirk is amazing! Not only is he a man of principle, a damn fine legislator, but a phenomenal human being.

And he luvs music trivia!

Posted by: Daisy at July 21, 2006 07:15 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?