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Texas Matters: State Of Health In Texas And Slashing The TCEQ's Budget

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David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio
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Texas Public Radio

America's Health Rankings 30th annual report was released this week. It reveals that Texas is facing challenges related to the health of individuals and communities across the state.

In Texas, the 2019 Health Rankings Report finds:

·  In the past six years, obesity increased 16% from 26.3% to 30.6% of adults ages 65+

·  In the past three years, physical inactivity increased 11% from 31.7% to 35.3% of adults ages 65+ in fair or better health

·  In the past six years, ICU use in the last six months of life decreased 16% from 18.7% to 15.8% of decedents ages 65+

·  In the past year, depression increased 71% from 11.0% to 18.8% of adults ages 65+

Dr. Rhonda Randall, the Chief Medical Officer at UnitedHealthcare said there are signs that Texas is improving in some areas. The full report is available here.

An Arm and A Leg

Since Texas is dead last in the nation for health insurance many Texans are forced to be rather creative and inventive when it comes to finding ways to pay for their needed treatments and medicines. One podcast is looking at that situation across the nation, it’s called An Arm and A Leg. I spoke to the host and executive producer Dan Weissmann about stories he’s found in Texas.

Thin Green Line

During the last decade the argument about environmental; protection has been let the states take the lead and avoid one size fits all mandates from Washington D.C. – however after this shift to states 30 states cut funding for their own environmental agencies and 40 reduced their staffing, according to a new study of state budget records.

And Texas had the second-worst record in the U.S., in terms of slashing funding for its state environmental agency from fiscal year 2008 to 2018.

Ilan Levin is with the Environmental Integrity Project Texas office.

David Martin Davies can be reached at DMDavies@TPR.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi.