Texas House Speaker on Health Care, Voting and Final Weeks of Session

House Speaker Dade Phelan spoke one on on with NBC 5

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A bipartisan group of state representatives rolled out a bill on health care and after the news conference, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) spoke to NBC 5 in a one-on-one interview.

“Health care is an issue that Texans talk about at the breakfast table, and they talk about at the dinner table,” said Phelan.

Some of the legislation includes expanding telehealth, reducing drug prices for the uninsured, addressing maternal mortality, and requiring hospitals to disclose prices before services.

“It’s one of the only services I know of where you don't know what you are paying for until months later, and that has to end,” added Phelan.

As the house goes to work on the health care proposals, there are other big issues still up for debate in the final weeks of the session.

Among the items, a voting bill that supporters say secures the Texas vote while critics say it will keep voters away.

“I don’t understand the consternation behind the bill. I don’t see where there is voter suppression in that bill. I can tell you that I have the numbers of various CEOs which I plan to call, or they can call me, and I can walk through the bill with them. We can go line, by line, by line, and they can tell me where they see voter suppression in House Bill 6,” said Phelan.

Phelan leads the house for the first time in an unpredictable year. Dealing with COVID-19, a winter storm that created the need for emergency legislation, and the other regular priorities, including setting a budget.

“Every week it has been something new here in the Texas Capitol, but we have addressed every one of them I think appropriately,” said Phelan.

Lawmakers  have less than two months, to get through all of it.

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