Or is he both of declining Medicaid expansion for Texas
By: Roy Douglas Malonson
Texas is the uninsured capital of the United States. More than 6.3 million Texans – including 1.2 million children – lack health insurance. Texas’ uninsurance rates, 1.5 to 2 times the national average, create significant problems in the financing and delivery of health care to all Texans. Approximately, 1.5 million low-income Texas adults are on Medicaid. Those who lack insurance coverage typically enjoy far-worse health status than their insured counterparts.
Texas’ uninsured are a diverse group that includes people who cannot afford private health insurance; who work in small businesses that do not offer insurance; who simply choose not to purchase health insurance, even though they can afford it; who are eligible-but not enrolled-in government sponsored programs such as Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP); and recent immigrants.
According to a summary of national data by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), groups with a high likelihood of lacking health insurance include:
~People in families with income below 200 percent of the poverty level;
~Young adults, age 19 to 34;
~People in families in which the adults worked either part-time or only part of the year; or
~Individuals in fair or poor health status who are significantly more likely than others to be uninsured for longer periods.
Texas workers are less likely to have employment-based health insurance coverage than those in other states. Nearly 60% of all companies in the United States offer health coverage for their employees.
Governor Perry recently declined Medicaid expansion that would include more uninsured individuals and would not create a state health insurance exchange, which would allow Texans to compare and buy their own plans.
With his acceptance, this increases the number of Republican governors who are refusing to implement/accept the two key provisions of President Barack Obama’s health care reform. His rejection will forgo billions of federal dollars.
The Health and Human Services Commission projects this expansion would cost $27 billion in state general revenue money and bring in $164 billion in federal funds over 10 years. This figure also includes the cost of adding children who are currently eligible but not enrolled, along with the newly eligible adults.
Sounds not so different from 2005, when he vetoed all funding for public schools for the 2007–2008 biennium, as if Texas schools did not need the monies to keep teachers in classrooms, etc.
Not all Texans can out-right afford health insurance. With Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, various cancers, and other health issues on the rise, Texans need all the help they can get.
Perry most likely believes that he is hurting or trying to prove a point to the Obama administration, however, the low-income people of Texas are the only ones he’s hurting. Like Marvin Zindler use to say, “It’s hell to be poor!” Yes, it is! Especially when you have dummies doing dumb stuff.