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(AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 22, 2019) Amid record job and population growth, new research reveals total economic losses for Texas associated with the impact of uninsured patients could reach almost $180 billion by 2040 – an increase of more than $121 billion from 2016.
Today, the Texas Alliance for Health Care will hold a briefing with state lawmakers and staff at the Texas Capitol to release its new report documenting the negative economic impact for Texas as the leading the state in the nation for total number of residents without health insurance. The report finds that in 2016, the cost of lower lifetime earnings and poor health for uninsured Texans was $57 billion. That economic loss is projected to reach $178.5 billion in 2040.
“The Texas economic miracle is something to celebrate, but it isn’t sustainable if the number of Texans without health insurance keeps increasing,” said Ted Shaw, THA president/CEO. “Texas hospitals alone incur annual costs of caring for the uninsured of more than $4.5 billion. These costs impede hospitals’ investment in service expansion and enhancements and workforce development to meet the needs of a population that is demographically diverse and growing faster than any other state.”
Texas has the largest number of residents without health insurance at 4.8 million, or 16 percent of the state population. Texas hospitals support development of private market solutions to help uninsured, low-wage working Texans purchase affordable, comprehensive health insurance. In 2015, Texas saw decreases in its total uninsured population following introduction of the Health Insurance Marketplace. Since then, insured rates leveled off as the state continued its growth, attracting out-of-state residents.
Texas hospitals support a variety of solutions intended to decrease the number of uninsured and provide coverage for those lacking access to subsidized health insurance benefits through an employer. In 2015, THA proposed the Texas Way, a private market alternative to traditional Medicaid expansion outlined in the ACA. Versions have been successfully implemented in other states, resulting in a number of positive outcomes, including increased utilization of primary care over hospital emergency departments.
The Texas Alliance for Health Care is a coalition of health care groups, including the Texas Hospital Association, and business groups whose mission is to serve as a resource to policymakers on issues pertaining to health policy and coverage. The report is available here.
Founded in 1930, the Texas Hospital Association is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state’s hospitals and health care systems. Based in Austin, THA enhances its members’ abilities to improve accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care for all Texans. One of the largest hospital associations in the country, THA represents 452 of the state’s non-federal general and specialty hospitals and health care systems, which employ some 400,000 health care professionals statewide. Learn more about THA at www.tha.org or follow THA on Twitter at http://twitter.com/texashospitals.