91 Percent of Texans Will Have Health Insurance if State Implements Health Care Reform

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From Think Progress:

During a House Public Health and Insurance Committees hearing yesterday, Billy Millwee, the State Medicad Director told lawmakers that “the percentage of Texans with health insurance will increase to 91 percent – up from 74 percent today – after the national health care law takes effect in 2014.” Texas – which has the highest rate of uninsured Americans – has the most to gain from implementing the law.

It's one thing for Republicans to rattle their sabers about repealing health care reform. But now it's gotten to the point that states are actually stalling on implementation (specifically the health insurance exchanges) because of the threat of the ACA being overturned.  According to the New York Times, some are waiting until the Supreme Court weighs in, and some until after the election, to see if the law will actually stick.

But the plot thickens.  On January 1, 2013, the administration will decide whether each state is ready to run its own exchange, or whether the federal government will run it for them.  So while some states don't want to set up a costly exchange until they know whether the ACA will stay in effect, they really don't want the federal government doing it on their behalf. Some of the more progressive states like Oregon and Vermont are going full speed ahead on implementing the exchanges, which will make it extra awkward when these states are free to run things on their own, while the red states holding out will have the federal government running the exchanges for them.  And Perry seems content to let Texas well fall into this latter camp. According to the article:

“Gov. Rick Perry believes that the federal health care law is unconstitutional, misguided and overreaching,” said his spokeswoman, Lucy Nashed. “Because of that, there are no plans to implement an exchange in Texas.”

16% of Texas is a lot to leave uninsured because you don't like a President or his bill. But if ACA sticks, come 2013 Perry's obstinance won't have much hold.    

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About Author

Emily Cadik

Emily is a Texas ex-pat and proud Longhorn living in Washington, DC, where she remains connected to the Lone Star State through her work on BOR and her enthusiasm for breakfast tacos. She works on affordable housing policy, and writes about health care, poverty and other social justice issues.

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