Texas is the hardest place in the nation to obtain health care and ranks among the most expensive places if you don’t have coverage, according to the latest federal data collated by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group.

After decades of competing with Mississippi and West Virginia for the worst ranking in health care access and affordability, Texas ranked 51st out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the latest data from 2021, released last week.

Texas hit rock bottom even before Republican leaders stripped cities and counties of authority to mandate health care benefits. The state has the highest uninsured rate at 24.3 percent, double the national average, and catastrophic compared to top-performer Massachusetts at 3.4 percent.

The Legislature’s refusal to expand Medicaid coverage to the working poor is the culprit. Texas is one of only 10 states that does not provide a health care program for all low-income people. Our lawmakers are determined to maintain their short-circuit of the Affordable Care Act despite dozens of economic studies showing state revenues would rise with Medicaid expansion.

About 16 percent of Texans said they put off treatment for an injury or illness because they can’t afford care. Instead of requiring employers to provide coverage or expanding the joint federal-state Medicaid program, we force people to wait until a minor problem becomes severe and they end up in an emergency department.


By admin