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04th Nov 2020

Texas demands better healthcare

Oli Dugmore

Dallas is the least insured city in America when it comes to healthcare. Around a quarter of people who live there don’t have cover – and it’s often a consequence of circumstance rather than choice.

The Texan stereotype is of an assault rifle-shooting, God-loving populace that call themselves rednecks with pride. And those people exist, out in the colossal expanse of countryside that extends to the point of seeming endless.

However, in Dallas the city is filled with progressive liberals. That’s the split in this state that used to be a steadfast Republican stronghold. Until very recently, the rural communities easily outweighed their urban counterparts but things are changing in the Lone Star state.

Demographic change and increasing suburbanisation are shifting electoral politics toward the Democratic party, and the tireless campaigning of Beto O’Rourke to enfranchise unregistered voters cannot be overlooked.

O’Rourke ran Ted Cruz right to the wire in his senate race. It would have been an earth shattering result. The suggestion is that two years later, the forces that pushed Beto so close to a win could deliver victory to Joe Biden.

After a 10 hour flight from Heathrow we landed in Dallas and set out to speak to regular Texans about their healthcare experience. It’s a truism that every American has a healthcare story and all the people we spoke to had one. Residents were nearly universal in calling for universal healthcare and those that didn’t were incredibly critical of the current system.