Texas Hits Bottom in Health Care Rankings, Religious-righters Shrugby
The Texas chapter of Concerned Women for America last week called Americans who support President Obama’s health care reform law “selfish and indulgent.” Another prominent Texas right-winger compared the health care law to slavery. And religious-right groups like Texans for Life Coalition have been insisting that the administration’s rule requiring most health insurance plans to cover birth control is an attack on religious freedom. Yet those pressure groups and right-wing pooh-bahs say little about the millions of Texans who don’t have access to affordable health care. And today we learned more about just how bad the health care situation is in Texas:
Texas ranks worst in the nation in health care services and delivery, according to an annual scorecard issued by the federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality.
In nine out of 12 categories, Texas rated weak or very weak. The only area where Texas earned the average ranking of good was in maternal and child health care measures. Out of a possible 100 points, Texas earned 31.61, while Minnesota, the highest ranking state, scored 67.31.
The Texas Medicaid law for the disabled and poor offers one of the most limited health care programs in the nation, and more than 25 percent of Texans do not have health insurance of any kind, which is the highest uninsured rate in the nation.
Republicans, who control every statewide office and represent a majority in the Legislature, have rejected the new federal (health care) law, which calls for almost every eligible U.S. citizen to get health insurance. Some have pledged to block any effort to expand Texas Medicaid, which is a joint state and federal program, in order to get more people insured.
Last year, Texas lawmakers underfunded Medicaid by more than $4 billion and that bill will come due when they meet again next year. Top officials have estimated that the Legislature will need to find at least $10 billion in new funding for Medicaid at a time when Gov. Rick Perry has pledged not to increase state spending.
Read the full story here. Then ask yourself: why don’t we hear groups likes those named “Texans for Life” talk more about the lives of Texans struggling without the medical care they need?