Campus News Blog: Health Care Reform and Texas

April 18, 2010  

Posted By Kathryn Sharkey

An article on BBC news talked about the health care reform debate and how Texas represents both sides of the debate well.

The article states that “Texas has the dubious distinction of being home to the highest number of uninsured people in the country: 25%, compared with a national average of 15%,” showing that many inhabitants of Texas stand to gain from a plan that would extend coverage.

However, Texas also has a substantial group of opponents to the bill as part of the Tea Party activists, who say the bill is unconstitutional and fiscally irresponsible.

What the article does not mention is that there is one big reason Texas has such a strong showing for both sides of the debate: its racial and ethnic diversity.

Many immigrants, many illegal from Mexico and Central America, come to Texas, which partially accounts for the high uninsured rate. These immigrants are mostly coming from situations of poverty, so they lack the education and ability (legally) to obtain the kind of jobs that would offer them health care.

In Texas, the health care debate can’t help but be wrapped up in the immigration debate.

Another thing the article did not mention, which a blog post on The Huffington Post addressed, is that Texas currently has a public option “suggested by and administered by the office of the Texas Attorney General, to provide a reasonable cost option to parents who are now mandated to provide medical care payment in Texas.” This is similar to the public option that was removed from the federal health care reform bill.

It seems that Texas is hopelessly bipolar when it comes to health care reform.

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