Texas is the uninsured capital of the United States. More than 4.3 million Texans, including 623,000 children, lack health insurance, according to the Texas Medical Association’s 2015 data. Insecurity about the future of insurance is leading to higher costs, fewer individuals who can afford it, and poorer health affecting families and our workforce. Rural hospitals are closing at an alarming rate.
Hospitals must care for all who come to them for care. By the time individuals show up in an emergency room, they are sicker and healing costs more. In turn, hospitals recoup those costs by charging more to those of us with insurance, raising the cost of healthcare.
The legislature is to be commended for continuing the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force. However, a decade of reducing access to women’s health and increasing punitive regulations such as the new “rape insurance” bill are hurting women and these actions must be reversed.
Undoubtedly, we lack adequate mental health treatment. Although mental health now is mandated to be included in standard health insurance, the dearth of professionals, facilities, and treatment funding are cruelly high.
To stop these vicious cycles of under-funding and poor health outcomes, I support:
- Medicaid expansion to provide more healthcare to more people. This includes, but is not limited to,
- Therapies for children with disabilities.
- Mental health treatments, both in-patient and out-patient.
- Putting women in charge of their own health, in consultation with their physicians.
- Creating incentives for more people to enter the mental health profession.