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half a million
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Texas Ranked 44th In Children’s Health And Well Being
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Texas Ranked 44th In Children’s Health And Well Being

The latest health care reports do not look good for Texas, and continues a trend that has gone on for over a decade. Texas has the highest number of uninsured, provides the worst health care, and now – performs poorly in children’s health. In the annual Kids Count evaluation report, it showed that Texas ranks 44th in the nation in terms of children’s health and well being.

More than one million children live in Texas. And now that the federal budget for children has decreased, how will this affect the children of Texas? The funding that the state receives for children is usually allocated in the provision of health care services, education, nutrition, and for their other special needs. A huge portion of the budget is spent on health care programs like CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) and Children’s Medicaid.

According to the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) in Austin, the state’s budget will experience a three percent decrease this year as well as next year. The CPPP predicted that the budget for children will experience a 17 percent cut for 2012. Approximately 13 percent or $2 billion will be slashed from children’s health care.

The Kids Count’s report also mentioned that 26 percent of children in Texas are living in poverty as of 2010. Meaning, more children are eligible to get Texas health insurance coverage via Children’s Medicaid or CHIP. In an attempt to provide health care benefits to children living in poverty, nearly half a million kids were enrolled in CHIP or Children’s Medicaid from 2009 until 2011. However, with budget cuts looming on the horizon, Texas will have to cut the number of enrollees in these health care programs.

Another growing problem is the decreasing number of physicians accepting Medicaid patients. Even if the children got coverage through CHIP or Medicaid, it is not a guarantee that they could see a doctor. This trend is growing nationwide, and not one Texas wants to be a part of.

In a recent report by the Texas Medical Association, the number of doctors accepting new Medicaid patients decreased by 11 percent this year from the previous 42 percent in 2010. It slipped to 31 percent in 2011. Doctors have stopped accepting new Medicaid patients because the payments they received from Medicaid were less and less because of the budget cuts. We have to wait until January 2013 to see how Texas will respond to the decrease in federal funding.

With so many children lacking health insurance in Texas, and the lack of doctors for Medicaid patients, it would seem bold solutions and action are needed to get Texas back on track.


Street Talk

Scary stuff, but you can't win em all I suppose. Still love my state :)

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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