According to TexasQuotes.com:
It comes as a shock to many people that the great state of Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people. While it is true that the number of uninsured people in Texas declined 3 percentage points in the past year, the Texas number of uninsured is still 19.1%, or 5 million individuals. That health insurance in Texas statistic was poor enough to come in ahead of other top five finishers for worst uninsured states Alaska, Florida, Georgia, and Oklahoma. Consider that 12% of Americans in general are uninsured still, and it becomes clear why the health insurance in Texas percentage is so shockingly high at 59% greater than the national average.
These numbers demonstrate how affordable access to quality health care, health insurance in Texas, and public health can be expected to be worse in Texas than in many other states. In fact, the 2014 rating for Texas health showed that it was ranked at 44th in the nation, per the Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance. This represented a slight increase from the 2009 health insurance for Texas rankings that had Texas at 47th, but it was still an abysmal showing from the state that takes such pride in itself.
Texas received a bit better ranking from the America’s Health Rankings at 36th out of 50 states for their overall health back in 2013. This rating is markedly better, partly because of the few occurrences of cancer and drug related deaths in the state, along with its reasonably good condition of mental health. Still, Texas suffered in these rating because of higher levels of obesity, the poor health insurance in Texas rate, and also a great disparity in health results depending on the level of a person’s education.
Given all of this negative health insurance in Texas rates and general health rankings that Texas suffers from, you could be forgiven for thinking that Texas would embrace the Affordable Care Act that offers health insurance for Texas. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. Of the national representatives to Washington D.C, from Texas the 20 Republican congressmen voted no as the 12 Democrats voted yes. Texas Governor Rick Perry also remains vehemently against the ACA and has utilized his strong Republican state legislature to stymie the ACA wherever and whenever possible. Texas refused to set up their own exchanges for health insurance in Texas or to expand Medicaid, and also worked against the health exchange federal employees who were trying to perform their insurance jobs in the state.
The refusal to expand Medicaid has helped to insure that the ACA was unable to lower the uninsured health insurance in Texas rate much in the Lone Star state. Over 900,000 Texans enrolled in the first open enrollment national healthcare exchange with plans picked up that were either privately or Medicaid based. This sounds impressive until you remember that over five million Texas residents are still uninsured today, nearly two years after Obamacare came into effect. For healthcare coverage rates to improve meaningfully any more than the over 19% they are still hovering at today, something is going to have to change at some level in the state government. Until then, at least Texans are no longer dead last in uninsured rates as they were a few years ago.