In uninsured people.
For the first time in more than a decade, Texas’ uninsured rate dipped below 20 percent, analysts said [recently] following the release of U.S. Census data.
Slightly more than 5 million Texans were uninsured in 2014 — a 700,000 decrease from the year before. That represented a 3-point dip in the percentage of Texans without health insurance, to 19 percent — the largest gain in health care coverage in Texas since 1999, according to the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities.
The data released Wednesday marked the first government-provided snapshot of the uninsured rate since the rollout of Healthcare.gov, the health insurance marketplace created by President Obama’s signature health law.
Texas remains the state with the highest rate of uninsured people, according to the federal survey. Nationwide, the uninsured rate fell from about 15 percent to 12 percent.
And it’s not just in the rate where we lead, it’s also in sheer numbers.
Texas’ decrease was just 40 percent of the size of California’s shrinkage of its uninsured population. It reduced the number of uninsured by 1.73 million folks. That’s out of proportion to population. The bureau’s latest estimates show California has about 1.4 times as many people as Texas — 39 million versus 27 million. California has expanded Medicaid and runs its own online health insurance marketplace.
For many years, the Golden State has had the largest uninsured population. No longer. Texas does.
The Lone Star State has not just the highest percentage but the biggest raw number of uninsured — 5,047,000. In 2013, California had 6.5 million uninsured residents, while Texas had 5.75 million. But last year, California’s number dipped below 4.8 million.
“California has seen robust increases in both private insurance coverage under the [federal law’s] marketplace and public coverage through Medicaid coverage for working poor adults,” said Obamacare supporter Anne Dunkelberg, a veteran health-policy analyst at the center-left think tank the Center for Public Policy Priorities. She noted that California posted a nearly 5 percentage point decrease in its uninsured rate. It dropped from 17.2 to 12.4 percent, compared with only 3-point drop in Texas from 2013 to 2014.
But hey, at least we surpassed California in something, amirite? Woo hoo, high five!
All five of the states with the highest uninsurance rate have one thing in common: They failed to expand Medicaid. Well, two things in common, that and having Republican Governors and legislatures. But if you knew the first part, you could have guessed the second.