Texas still tops the nation for the highest rate of uninsured. One in four Texans didn’t have health insurance in 2011, according to the American Community Survey released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The majority of uninsured Texans are poor adults who are native-born U.S. citizens, according to the survey. And nearly two-thirds of the uninsured — 2.9 million people — are employed. Click through the graphs, which show demographic data from the survey, to get a sense of who the uninsured are in Texas.
A report by demographers at the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University estimated that as many as 4.4 million of the 5.8 million Texans without insurance in 2010 could have insurance by 2014, depending on how federal health care reforms are implemented. Flip through the views on the map below to see how many people the Hobby Center estimates would have insurance by 2014 under limited, moderate or enhanced implementation of federal reforms.
One provision in the federal reforms would expand Medicaid to cover able-bodied adults who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty threshold, $29,725 per year for a family of four. The federal government would pick up the tab for Medicaid eligibility expansion from 2014 to 2016 and then would provide 90 percent or more of funds to cover additional Medicaid beneficiaries. As the graph shows, 44 percent of uninsured Texans in 2011 had income below 138 percent of the federal poverty threshold.
Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican leaders have said Texas should not expand Medicaid. “Why would you want to put 1,000 more people on the Titanic when you know how it’s going to turn out?” Perry asked during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival on Friday. Embracing federal health care reform would not solve Texas’ problems, Perry said, adding that “the quickest and wisest and one of the most economical ways of doing that would be to block grant back to the state” so that the Legislature and state officials have the flexibility to design alternative health care options.