Public and private health systems are transforming the way they provide care, but early results show it won’t be enough to address the needs of Texas’ uninsured.
You’ve heard of the uninsured, the folks who go to the emergency room because they don’t have health insurance? The ones who then can’t afford to pay the bill because treatment in the ER costs 10 times more than in a doctor’s office. That uninsured person whose bill is passed on to taxpayers and private insurers?
These are the people whose income is so low, they do not get Affordable Care Act subsidies. But Texas law excludes them from Medicaid, the joint federal and state health care program for the poor and disabled. According to an analysis by the independent Perryman Group, uncompensated care raises the average Texas family’s annual insurance premium by $1,800.
U.S. law and common decency dictate that hospitals never turn away those in need, but there is a more efficient way to provide care for the poor without overcharging those with insurance.