Later this week (they are saying Thursday), we shall find out whether the conservatives on the Supreme Court are going to invalidate all or part of the Affordable Health Care Law. While you’re waiting, here’s a little something you should read: “Rest Of The Country Should Take A Good Look At The Situation In Texas.”
Here’s just a bit to get you started…
Last year, Luis Duran drove almost 200 miles to San Antonio to have a colonoscopy because he didn’t want to wait six months for an opening at a county clinic.
A few days later, the doctor in San Antonio – a friend of a friend who had performed the screening for free – called to break the news that Duran, 51, had advanced colon cancer and needed immediate surgery.
“I kind of broke down,” recalled Duran, a machine operator whose employer had terminated his health policy. “I said, ‘Doctor, I don’t have insurance, and I don’t have much money, but I won’t refuse to pay. Please help me.'”
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the problem of the uninsured is no exception. The Houston metropolitan area has one of the highest rates of uninsured people in America, and a health safety net imploding under the demands of too many people and too few resources. Almost one in three residents – more than a million people — lack health insurance, and about 400 are turned away every day from the county hospital district’s call center because they can’t be accommodated at any of its 23 community or school-based centers.
Those seeking care at the public hospital’s ER, meanwhile, arrive with blankets and coolers full of sandwiches and drinks in anticipation of waits that may go 24 hours or longer.
“If the Affordable Care Act is overturned, the rest of the country should take a good look at the situation in Texas, because this is what happens when you keep Medicaid enrollment as low as possible and don’t undertake insurance reforms,” said Elena M. Marks, a health policy scholar at Rice University’s James Baker Institute for Public Policy and a former city health official.
I encourage you to click on the link at the beginning of this post and read the full article. Texas isn’t doing so well. If the ACA is invalidated, neither will the rest of the country.