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Texas Ranks Last For Available, Affordable Healthcare

Wendy Rigby
Texas Public Radio
Despite about 1.2 million Texans enrolled for insurance under the Affordable Care Act in 2017, Texas still ranks last in terms of available, affordable healthcare.

Texas ranks dead last in a new list ranking access and affordability of healthcare. The high percentage of Texans without health insurance is part of the problem. Texas has more uninsured people than any other state in the nation.



Many Texans were hoping the passage of the Affordable Care Act would make a huge dent in the state’s uninsured population. While more than a million Texans are enrolled in Obamacare this year, a new study shows 23 percent of adults and 10 percent of children still don’t have health insurance.

Brian Sasser is Director of Communications for the Episcopal Health Foundationin Houston, which released the numbers…a compilation of the Commonwealth Fund Scorecard.

"The state ranks rock bottom in access and affordability of health care," Sasser reported. "We still rank 51st if you count Washington, DC."

Sasser said when Texas chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, that decision had a big impact. "More Texans would have access to health insurance and access to quality health services had the state decided to expand Medicaid."

Hispanics lack access to care in the greatest numbers. They often don’t have a primary care physician and they skip important cancer screenings.

The Episcopal Health Foundation was established in 2013 to look for solutions beyond the clinical setting and address the underlying causes of poor health. Those factors include poverty, substandard housing, and lack of education.

Wendy Rigby is a San Antonio native who has worked as a journalist for more than 25 years. She spent two decades at KENS-TV covering health and medical news. Now, she brings her considerable background, experience and passion to Texas Public Radio.