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The big picture for health care reform in Texas

The number you need to know is four point two million.

Texas’ uninsured population will drop from 6.5 million this year to 2.3 million once the federal health care overhaul is fully implemented, and about a third of the remaining uninsured will likely be illegal immigrants, [Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs] said Thursday.

Four point two million people in Texas who do not currently have health insurance will eventually have it, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Four point two million people. When Greg Abbott talks about his frivolous lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act, he should be asked why he doesn’t want those 4.2 million people to have health insurance. When Rick Perry and his minions talk about the magic of the free market as the real solution to providing health insurance to people who don’t have it, they should be asked what they intend to do for those 4.2 million people. More to the point, they should be asked why they haven’t done it already. Rick Perry, David Dewhurst, and Greg Abbott are all running for their third full term in their office. They’ve had plenty of time and a legislature full of their fellow Republicans to deal with this problem. If they don’t like the solution President Obama and the Congressional Democrats have created, they had plenty of time to come up with one of their own. But they haven’t, and because of that we have all these uninsured people that the Affordable Care Act will help. Four point two million people. That’s the bottom line.

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4 Comments

  1. Jim says:

    My only question…who will be paying for those 4.2M peoples health benifits? Surely not the 4.2M people.

  2. Jim, I hope you realize that you’re already paying for their health care, and have been for years. You pay for it every time they use the emergency room, because it’s their only option. You pay for it in lost productivity whenever someone without health insurance gets needlessly ill or dies young. You pay for it whenever a needlessly sick child performs poorly in school. The nothing we’ve been doing for years has been quite expensive. Helping people purchase health insurance – note the word “purchase” in that phrase – will ensure we pay a lot less in the future. It’s pretty simple, really.

  3. blank says:

    My only question…who will be paying for those 4.2M peoples health benifits? Surely not the 4.2M people.

    The 4.2M will be paying a sizeable amount for their health benefits. The bulk of the bills benefits are tax credits for people to buy health insurance on the private market. These tax credits rarely offset the entire premium cost.

    From http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/what-health-bill-means-for-you/ a family of 4 making $50K per year:

    “Beginning in 2014, you will receive tax credits to help afford insurance premiums in the new exchanges as well as assistance with deductibles and co-payments. According to your income and family size, the tax credits will ensure you do not spend more than $3150 to $4025 on premiums. Your maximum out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and co-payments would be capped at 27% of the total cost.”

    That’s not trivial. Furthermore, if you are like me, who gets benefits via an employer, then you are also already being subsidized by tax benefits.

  4. SR says:

    Charles,
    If you think ant of the problems you cited will change one iota when the 4+million Texans are on Medicaid,
    it indicates the strength of whatever it is you are smoking. They’ll have “insurance” that will be accepted by nobody.

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