The state has been very successful in decreasing the size of the uninsured population but not among the lowest income groups.
The number of people without Texas health insurance has been steadily falling since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. However, this is not the case among the state’s poorest population.
Though Obamacare has been helping people to purchase health plans, those with low incomes are staying uninsured.
This failure to successfully decrease the number of low income residents without Texas health insurance has made the state a leader in the overall percentage of people who still don’t have coverage. When taking into consideration that there has been a reduction of almost 30 percent in the adult uninsured population in the state since the Affordable Care Act first became effective, this is quite the statement about who is benefiting from the health care reform.
Among low income residents, the reduction in those without Texas health insurance was only 15 percent.
Despite the decline among that population, there remains a massive 46 percent of Texans who have a household income lower than $16,395 who do not have medical coverage. This, according to recent health care data that was released by the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, in conjunction with the Episcopal Health Foundation.
Adults with low income had the smallest reduction in the size of the uninsured population of any demographic broken down by ethnicity, age, gender or income group that was examined within the report. Moreover, the poorest population also maintained the highest overall uninsured rate of any demographic in the state.
The report underscored that this considerable disparity with Texas health insurance coverage is the direct result of the state’s refusal to cover more of the adult poor population with its Medicaid program.
According to the president of the Episcopal Health Foundation, Elena Marks, who is also a Baker Institute nonresident health policy fellow, “The ACA as implemented in Texas offers little hope for Texans with the lowest incomes.” The report examined the rate of Texas health insurance uptake beginning in September 2013, which was a month before the federal and state exchanges opened their doors to the public.