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The Affordable Care Act will help millions of Texans

So says the Texas Department of Insurance.

Even as Texas leaders rail against the national health care law and call for its repeal, the state Department of Insurance has issued a report that says the law will make it easier for many Texas families to get health coverage.

The report also helps make the case that the current system is not working, as the number of Texans with health coverage through their employers has dropped nearly 18 percent in the last eight years.

In 2001, about 58.5 percent of Texans had employer coverage. By 2009, that figure had dropped to 48.2 percent — well below the national average.

“While most states have experienced declining rates of employer-sponsored coverage in recent years, the decline in Texas is more pronounced,” the agency said in a report to the Legislature on health insurance availability and affordability in the state.

The report noted that 26.1 percent of Texans are uninsured — 6.4 million residents — compared with a national average of 16.7 percent. Most are in families with low to moderate incomes.

Those are among the people who will benefit from the health care overhaul passed by Congress last year and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The TDI has a Federal Health Care Reform Resource Page, which has numerous useful summaries and highlights of the PPACA, but I did not find anything that cited the figures above or that looked like a new report, so I’m not sure exactly where this comes from. It’s all somewhat academic, since the Republican Party has refudiated the concept of universal coverage as a policy goal, and while the Lege will debate Rep. John Zerwas’ bill to create insurance exchanges, I’d bet more time and energy will be spent on grandstanding and ridiculous sideshows, none of which will do a thing to help anyone. But the next time someone asks, you can tell them that the state of Texas officially believes that the PPACA will be good for it, no matter what our so-called leaders may say. On a related note, here’s a statement from Rep. Garnet Coleman about what “repeal” would mean, and here’s a reminder that GOP claims about PPACA’s effect on employment are bogus and misleading. And of course, the PPACA will reduce the federal deficit over time, while repealing it will increase the deficit. Someone should tell Rick Perry about that.

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