Texans like having health insurance

Who knew?

It's constitutional - deal with it

It’s constitutional – deal with it

A first-of-its-kind survey asking Texans if health insurance is necessary found an overwhelming majority believe having coverage is critical for them and their families, with 50 percent calling it “absolutely essential.”

The Texas Medical Center commissioned Nielsen to survey attitudes surrounding health insurance ranging from its importance, what you would give up to pay for insurance, and whether people with bad health habits should be required to pay more.

The Houston Chronicle obtained advance results from the online poll posed to 1,000 Texans over 18 between Jan. 27 and March 3. The complete results will be unveiled Monday at the Medical World Americas 2015 conference in Houston.

Most striking was that 83 percent of those surveyed – a rate that held steady across age, race, income, education and insurance status categories – said having health insurance was either “very important” or “absolutely essential.” Only 5 percent said it was “not important at all.”

“That includes the all-important 25-to-35 demographic. It flies in the face of those groups who have been saying that young people don’t need or want health insurance,” said Dr. Arthur “Tim” Garson, director of the Health Policy Institute at Texas Medical Center.


Currently, Texas leads the nation in the number of uninsured with roughly 22 percent, or about 5.7 million people. And while it is not unusual for people living on the edge to experience periods without insurance, in Texas more than half of uninsured adults have been uninsured for five years or more, including 31 percent of the uninsured who have never had coverage in their lifetime, according to a 2014 Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the state’s uninsured.

I can’t find a copy of the study anywhere – a description of it is here – so you’ll just have to take the story’s word for it. Not really sure what there is to say other than I don’t know why anyone would be surprised by this. And in case you’re wondering, people who bought plans via the Obamacare exchanges are pretty happy with them, too. So yeah, health insurance good. Film at 11.

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7 Responses to Texans like having health insurance

  1. Steven Houston says:

    Take it with the same grain of salt you would had the NRA sponsored a survey (not a “study”) that concluded guns are good, the Dairy Council sponsored a survey in favor of dairy products, or the tobacco companies sponsored a survey on the benefits of smoking. Over the long term, having a decent health care plan is a great idea but many make a conscious choice to spend their money elsewhere which is a better indicator of their real priorities.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    Well, I for one am happy that my health insurance premiums (that have honestly almost doubled in the few years since ObamaCare went into effect), have made other people happy. Following this logic, when will local government start redistributing my skyrocketing property taxes to other property tax payers, who will get a tax credit with the extra money I am forking over? Why can’t they have taxpayer funded discount property tax, too?

    For what it’s worth, I may as well be uninsured, because with the increased premiums, there is no money to pay the $ 5,000+/year deductible before the insurance coverage even takes effect. No worries though, for the folks my increased premiums are paying for. They don’t have to worry about deductibles, and neither do all the folks on Medicaid. They don’t have to make the choice, buy food or go to the doctor. I’m happy for them. Meanwhile, I’ll just cling to my “guns and religion” and pray I don’t get sick.

  3. Joel says:

    bill daniels, obviously you are leaving something out. i’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the only thing you haven’t mentioned is that you went from essentially no coverage to actual coverage, or that you haven’t really bothered to try and price shop your coverage. there are a lot of options on the exchange – it is certainly possible to find a bad, overpriced one if you really want to.

  4. Bill Daniels says:


    I’ve been with the same insurer for close to 20 years. Maybe 10 years back, I went with the high deductible “catastrophic coverage” policy I have today. Being reasonably healthy, the plan worked for me because I rarely saw a doctor, and the premiums were inexpensive. Fast forward to the passage of ObamaCare. My premiums, which previously had increased only modestly, and only every few years, now increases almost every quarter. To be fair, getting older resulted in some of the increases, and of course, inflation is a factor, but the bulk of the increase (honestly, almost doubled) is due to ObamaCare. It’s fleecing me to subsidize others.

    Now, to your question, could I find a cheaper rate on the “exchange,” maybe, but I’m not interested in being a “taker,” and doing to others what others are doing to me, thanks to ObamaCare.

  5. Mainstream says:

    Like Bill Daniels I once had an individual health insurance plan for more than 20 years with the same insurer. My premiums started at $86 per month, but by the end were $2000 per month even though I had increased my deductible to $7500. I could not change to better insurance due to development in the intervening 20 years of a pre-existing medical condition. Under the ACA my premiums and deductible are better, and the coverage is with Blue Cross and I could keep my same doctor.

  6. Mainstream says:

    None of my premium increases were in any way connected to Obama care, as I left that private insurance prior to the passage of the ACA.

  7. Jules says:

    Bill, if you don’t want a subsidy that you’re entitled to, that is your business, but you do realize that the entire concept of insurance is that the healthy pay for the sick with a lot left over for the insurance execs.

    And property taxpayers are currently subsidizing other property taxpayers via 380 agreements. Don’t worry, these don’t go to the poor, only the rich.

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