States’ Record on Health Care Deplorable

The Supreme Court upheld The Affordable Care Act which means that states can no longer stall on creating health insurance exchanges.  Many states have done nothing to date to set up these exchanges which must be implemented by 2014. Texas, is one such state.  Gov. Rick Perry said the state of Texas “can deliver health care more efficiently, more effectively and cheaper than the federal government.”  But I’m not so sure that’s true.  6.2 million Texans have no health insurance – that’s 25% of the state’s population. As a percentage, no other state has more uninsured residents. Florida is tied with New Mexico at 21%, Louisiana at 20%.  At 19%, only California has more people without health insurance – 7.2 million.   But is it really more efficient and inexpensive to ignore 6.2 million residents.  If they do get sick and go to the emergency room for care, often for preventable problems that regular care would have addressed, someone pays, no.  Who?  Tax payers in the end.  This is not an effective way to deliver health care.

Texas along with all the other red states do not want to implement Obamacare in an election year, even though many conservatives have long held that people should buy health insurance as a matter of personal responsibility.  And now that such health insurance will become more affordable through the exchanges which Republican states have mostly refused to establish, they say – “it’s a government takeover of health care”.  This is campaign rhetoric and is not true, however, since the states have not provided health care to their residents efficiently, effectively and in an affordable fashion, the feds really had no choice but to step in.  Access to affordable health care should be a human right for all Americans, not just the ones who live in blue states.

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