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I am unsure why Texas should be different from any other state, and I think that this is a big issue for the entire country as a whole. Although #6 makes some interesting observations regarding the number of people in this state without health insurance, I think that the problems that Texas is facing are indicative of problems that are occurring in the country as a whole, and need to be resolved.
One problem pertaining to the lack of health insurance in Texas is that the number of uninsured and/or poorly insured people outstrips the national statistics by roughly ten percentage points. Another problem is legislative as Texas is one of the 26 states that are contesting the individual insurance mandate in Obama's health care plan, which is now poised to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Just to clarify, undocumented immigrants still pay taxes, including income taxes, Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes, as well as sales and gasoline taxes. They often do so under fake Social Security numbers, meaning they won't be able to receive those benefits at a later age. The idea that they do not pay into the system is a very persistent myth.
That clarification aside, Texas has some added woes regarding the lack of health insurance, as a large number of Texas residents of all ethnicities and statuses live below the poverty line and work for minimum wage with no benefits. Their primary method of receiving health care treatment is at the Emergency Room of the nearest hospital, which is both very expensive and inefficient.
One major problem is that people without health insurance end up being a burden on everyone else. They cannot get care for relatively minor conditions and the conditions end up getting worse. When they get bad enough, the people go to energency rooms, which are required to provide care. The hospitals have to "eat" the cost of providing care and that makes things more expensive for all of the rest of the people.
No different than any state where lack of health insurance is a problem, Texas faces significant challenges in embracing a system where so many suffer from lack of access to quality health care. A recent Harvard study discovered that close to over 4,500 people die in Texas every year because they lack health insurance. More than five and a half million people in Texas lack health coverage. In this, 1.5 million children lack health care coverage. The problems in such a condition speak for themselves. The gulf between those who have access to quality care and those who do not is growing, impacting any notion of progress for all of Texas. Additionally, for children who lack health care, an onset of health problems all become reality, creating even more of a burden on the system. The fact that race and ethnicity is a part of this equation is also telling. About 32% of Hispanic people in Texas lack health insurance. This helps to bring out another problem in the distribution of resources, and the conscious or unconscious targeting of a group of people. As Governor Perry prepares for a White House run in 2012, the condition of health care in Texas is a problematic one.
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