Add this to the list of notable achievements for Texas during the Rick Perry regime: between 2000 and 2009, Texas families' insurance premiums increased 91.6%. No surprise then that Texas remains first in the nation in rates of uninsured residents. Meanwhile, of course, Perry is busy raising the spectre of socialism and invoking the 10th Amendment to prevent real reform from coming to Texas.
The Statesman reports:
…even though the average family's health insurance premiums increased 91.6 percent between 2000 and 2009 – from $6,638 to $12,721 a year – families often got fewer benefits for their money, not more, according to the report by Families USA, a nonprofit consumer group based in Washington.
The article goes on to state that even though median incomes increased 19.7%, the cost of health insurance rose five times faster. The cost of health insurance is rapidly, vastly outpacing the incomes of Texas families. No wonder, then, that Texas still has the highest percentage of uninsured residents. Austin Business Journal reports:
Once again Texas is No. 1 in the nation when it comes to the percentage of its residents who are uninsured. Just over 25 percent of Texans were uninsured in a two-year average calculated at the end of 2008, according to the Census Bureau. That's an increase from the 24.1 percent uninsured rate in 2005 and 2006.
We'd led the nation when the 2005-2006 numbers were released. Nice to know we've stayed atop the rankings in the interim. And don't worry, we also still top the nation in uninsured children. But that's no surprise: just look at the numbers.
- 5,900,000: total uninsured Texans.
- 82%: Percent of uninsured Texans in working families.
- 1,400,000: total uninsured children in Texas.
- 89.5%: Percent of uninsured Texas children in working families.
The numbers are infuriating. Working Texans and their families are literally dying from lack of care. Where's the outrage from the supposed “family values” crowd? By the way, who has the lowest rate of uninsured residents? That would be Massachusetts, with 5.4%. The Massachusetts system–though not perfect–is one model for the nationwide health insurance reforms proposed by President Obama, reforms which Rick Perry opposes.
But hey, we like to get all rah-rah down here with our Republican Ex-Cheerleader Elected Officials, so I fully expect Rick Perry to lead the way on a little “We're #1 in uninsured children! We're #1 in working families who can't access care!” It's a little wordy, but I think he can do it.
Of course, Perry won't be cheerleading on any efforts at real reform, especially not President Obama's plan. Over the summer on a local radio program here in Texas, he made his thoughts plainly clear on the matter. From ThinkProgress:
Perry said his first hope is that Congress will defeat the plan, which both Perry and Davis described as “Obama Care.” But should it pass, Perry predicted that Texas and a “number” of states might resist the federal health mandate.
“I think you'll hear states and governors standing up and saying 'no' to this type of encroachment on the states with their healthcare,” Perry said. “So my hope is that we never have to have that stand-up. But I'm certainly willing and ready for the fight if this administration continues to try to force their very expansive government philosophy down our collective throats.“
Yes, working families of Texas, Rick Perry will fight to the death to make sure that you can't access the care you need. He's committed to making sure we remain the most uninsured state in the nation–unless, of course, he gets his secessionist ways and makes us one of the most uninsured nations in the world. Never fear, for as long as Governor Good Hair occupies the capital dome, you'll never see that 5.4% uninsured rate that those Blue State socialist heathens suffer with every day.
But don't just get mad. Do something: call your Congressperson today, and demand real health insurance reform. It's far past time we took this matter into our own hands and stood up for all Texans to have access to real health care.