Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Lloyd Doggett talk new Dell Seton Medical Center, Affordable Care Act's impact on Austin

U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin toured Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas Thursday morning.

U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin toured Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas Thursday morning.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, were in Austin this morning to tour a new teaching hospital and gather insight on the Affordable Care Act and its effect on Austin from local community leaders.

The politicians toured Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, a teaching hospital set to open May 21 in downtown Austin. The hospital will feature 211 beds and 13 operating rooms. After the tour, Pelosi and Doggett sat down with community leaders in the healthcare, music and technology fields to discuss Dell Seton and the Affordable Care Act.

During her tour, Pelosi said she saw more emphasis placed on patient health and the value of treatment instead of seeking a high volume of procedures.

“[Dell Seton] is a model to the country, because you have coming together, a public spirit, where they have solutions to healthcare [and are] giving people access to affordable healthcare, even more so under the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi said.

She sees the Affordable Care Act as a pillar of health and economic security for Americans, along with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, she said.

The ACA as we know it today wouldn’t exist without Pelosi’s work, Doggett said.

“Through the efforts of Leader Pelosi, [we were able to] bring together a very diverse Democratic caucus to stand up and take a risk, to do what generations had talked about doing, and that is trying to provide affordable healthcare,” Doggett said.

After 60-plus efforts by Republicans to repeal the act, Doggett said Pelosi will continue to play an important role in any new national healthcare legislation.

“Once again, we look to her leadership to bring people with very different ideas about healthcare [together],” Doggett said. “[There are] many flaws in the Affordable Care Act that need correcting. The focus has to be on strengthening the act, on correcting deficiencies, not on trying to tear it down.”

During the panel, attendees shared stories of how the ACA improved the lives of Austinites, including undocumented residents who no longer had to drive four hours across the Mexican border to seek affordable treatment as well as musicians who were able to be covered for mental health treatment for the first time. A tech industry professional said entrepreneurs in Austin have an easier time creating startups because they don’t have to work a second job to keep their health insurance.

“We want people to reach their fulfillment, to honor the values of our founder's: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Pelosi said. “A happier life, to have the liberty to pursue your happiness, not be chained by a policy to a job."

Pelosi made it clear she is working for access to quality affordable care, not merely the access to go to an emergency room. That should be for emergencies, not a person’s standard of care. She quoted Martin Luther King Jr. to get her point across.

“Dr. King said of all of the forms of inequality, inequality of healthcare is the most inhumane and shocking, because people could die,” Pelosi said.


A photo of young adults creating artwork.
Cordovan Art School & Pottery Parlor to open new location in Southwest Austin

The new art school will open on West Hwy. 290 on March 1.

Velocity Credit Union will break ground on a Dripping Springs location this year

Construction will begin on a new Velocity Credit Union branch this summer.

Fight over sales market data means Travis County home appraisals will not change this year, area schools may suffer

Travis Central Appraisal District will not appraise residential properties this year following a cease-and-desist order from the Austin Board of Realtors prohibiting use of its sales price data.

Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz announced his resignation on Feb. 19. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Paul Cruz to resign as Austin ISD superintendent to take job with University of Texas

Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz will resign and accepted a position with the University of Texas.

A photo of a woman holding a "coming soon" sign for Acupuncture + Restorative Medicine
Acupuncture practice coming soon in Dripping Springs area

The acupuncture center will hold a grand opening in April.

Sunset Valley will use OpenGov budgeting and transparency software when creating its next budget. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sunset Valley to enter contract with OpenGov budgeting, transparency software

The program will also allow city staff to model budgetary options and will cut time researching information such as city salaries and progress on local projects.

A photo of the Dripping Springs City Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Bill Foulds slated to take over for longtime Mayor Todd Purcell as Dripping Springs cancels election for uncontested seats

The city of Dripping Springs will not hold a May 2020 election for multiple uncontested seats.

The city of Austin authorized the purchase of a Rodeway Inn at 2711 S. I-35 on Nov. 14. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
No timeline set on opening of Austin’s first conversion of motel to homeless shelter

Austin City Council approved the purchase of the Rodeway Inn in November. City staff does not expect to close on the property until mid-April.

District 4 City Council Member Greg Casar (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Council Member Greg Casar 'seriously considering' run for Kirk Watson’s state Senate seat

The 30-year-old Austin City Council member is serving the final year of his first full, four-year term.

Abed Yaghi makes a margherita pizza. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
Yaghi's New York Pizzeria offering fresh yet affordable options since 1999

There are eight Yaghi's locations in the Austin area.

Scissors & Scotch now trimming at Lantana Place

The men’s haircut and barber shop service opened at Lantana Place on Feb. 14.

District 14 Sen. Kirk Watson announced Feb. 18 he would be resigning his state Senate seat to work in higher education. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kirk Watson resigns state Senate seat, takes post at University of Houston

The former Austin mayor will become the founding dean at the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs.

Back to top