Dad’s cancer battle shapes health care policy for Texas candidate for Senate

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Amanda Edwards aims to build coalitions in race for Senate nomination

AUSTIN (Nexstar) – Amanda Edwards represents more than two million Texans in one of the country’s largest cities. The at-large Houston city council member says that experience makes her the best candidate to represent you in the United States Senate.

First, she has to get through the Democratic primary. There are 12 candidates in the race for the nomination. Edwards is among the top five candidates in polls leading up to the March primary.

Edwards is well-known in Houston, now she’s working to get her message out statewide.

“I think this race has to be about all of the people of Texas,” Edwards said. “We’re taking great strides to move across the state… listening to what residents across the state of Texas are really concerned about.”

Healthcare is one of top issues for Texas voters. The issue is personal for Edwards.

“When I was growing up, at about the age of 10, my dad was diagnosed with cancer,” Edwards said. Her father died from the disease when she was 17.

Edwards said that as her father went through treatment, she learned what it was like to face questions of medical bills and the uncertainties of insurance coverage.

“I’d ask my dad questions about whether he was going to have access to coverage on his experimental treatments that he was receiving,” Edwards recalled. “My dad would say things like, ‘well, we’ll have to figure it out.'”

“Ultimately, the question becomes what happens if somebody can’t figure it out? Those are life and death outcomes for our families,” Edwards said.

While some candidates back Medicare for all, Edwards says she’s looking at a different solution. She supports a fix to the Affordable Care Act that allows for a public option. “You can either have an affordable public option, or employer-based coverage as it currently stands today,” Edwards said.

Polls show there is no clear favorite among Democrats in the race for Senate. Edwards says she has the experience and ability to lead the way in November.

“I will be well-positioned to build the necessary coalitions in order to do so,” Edwards said. She specifically spoke of galvanizing the base of Democratic voters.

“I mean communities of color, people under the age of 35,” Edwards said. “We saw in the ’18 cycle that they registered in high numbers, but didn’t come back out to vote in as high numbers as what was anticipated,” she explained.

“We’ve got to have someone who can fill that gap and address both the building of those coalitions so that we have the person who can actually unseat John Cornyn as the nominee.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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