Aljazeera America: The human cost of Texas' refusal to expand Medicaid

Rejecting 'Obamacare' has cost Texas over $8 billion and, advocates say, put poor people's health at risk
By E. Tammy Kim

LAREDO, Texas—In mid-May, 20-year-old Anissa Rangel's gums began to bleed. At first she assumed it was related to her gingivitis, but one morning, she woke up in the bedroom that she shares with three siblings and saw her gray nightshirt stained dark red across the shoulder. A month passed before she told her mother that something was wrong. By then, another symptom was visible: purple bruises on her arms and legs.

It had happened to her twice before, once as an infant and again in eighth grade. "The first time we brought her in [to the hospital], they called the police on us," recalls her father, Jose Rangel, a disabled truck driver with gout and a heart condition. It was only later that the doctors diagnosed her with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a platelet deficiency that causes fatigue, bleeding and speckly bruises called petechiae.

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