During his “State of the County” address this week, Judge Ed Emmett, Harris County’s chief executive, joked that Harris County contains more people than Iowa and New Hampshire, combined. His serious point was not political: it was a reference to the stewardship of governing for the millions of lives in a large urban community.
One of the ways Judge Emmett’s leadership is exhibited for the 6 million people who live and work in or near Harris County and the Houston, is a rational, pragmatic approach to health care issues.
“While some at the federal and state levels can play politics with the issue of health care,” he says, “we cannot. Those who now reject federal dollars for health care are not only punishing individuals and families who need access to better care, they are increasing property taxes for all taxpayers.”
“How do we pay for the buildings and staff required to meet needs dictated to us by conscience and state law? So long as the county property taxpayer has to bear the cost of health care, we will have trouble meeting the challenge. Refusing to accept federal dollars available for indigent health care makes no more sense than turning down federal highway funds.”
We support Ed Emmett’s health care leadership, and hope his consensus-building approach to governing reaches beyond Harris County. Click here to download his 2016 State of the County address: 2016_State_of_the_County_Address