TexasGovernment: The Lack of Access to Health Care

TexasGovernment: The Lack of Access to Health Care

Letter

CrownoverMyra,

ChairpersonHealth Committee,

TexasHouse of Representatives,

P.O.Box 2910,

Austin,TX 78768,

July5, 2016.

DearMadam,

Re:Medicaid expansion

Iam writing to remind you that the residents of Texas have been facinga serious challenge in accessing the health care services. I am aconcerned resident of Texas, who is kindly requesting you, as thechairperson of the Health Committee, to craft and introduce a motioninto the House of Representatives with the aim authorizing the stategovernment to ratify all provisions of the Afford Care Act (ACA).

Accordingto Stone (2015) Texas State has the largest number of residents whocannot access medical care since they are not insured. The issue hasaffected some of the state’s most vulnerable populations (includingwomen and the mentally ill residents) that need a lot of support fromthe government and other stakeholders (Bassman &amp Thorne, 2016).

Inmy view, the limited access to health care in Texas has been worsenedby the lack of political will. This was demonstrated by thelegislators’ decision in 2015 to reject provisions of the ACA thatwould have helped the vulnerable residents of Texas access healthinsurance. According to Stone (2015) the state could help over threemillion people access insurance by ratifying the provision thatauthorizes the state to expand the Medicaid program. Studies havealso shown that a decision to prevent the expansion of Medicaiddenied event the insurance a full access to Medicaid benefits, sincethere are only a limited number of health care professionals who arewilling to accept the current provider fee (Garrett, 2015).

Ihave a lot of confidence that you will be able to convincelegislators to expand the Medicaid program, given your several yearsof experience as a legislator, public demand, and statistical data tosupport the idea. You may reach me via the [email protected] or phone number 830-545-2102. I look forwardto hearing from you regarding the issue.

Sincerely,

Background

Healthcare is among the key factors determine the level of quality of lifein all states. Although there are many strategies that have beenformulated at the state level to ensure that the largest possiblepopulation can access health care services, it is evident that theprevious measures have not been adequate. An article “MMH studyshows lack of access as biggest hurdle to health care”, which wasauthored by Erin Stone and published on July 23, 2015 indicated thatabout 24 % of the residents aged below 65 years and living in Texasare not insured (Stone, 2015). However, Stone (2015) identified womenas the most affected population, where 36 % of them lack the healthinsurance. The lack of insurance denies women the opportunity to havetheir medical conditions (such as cervical cancer) diagnosed at theearliest time possible.

Anarticle “More in Texas lack health insurance than in any otherstate”, which was authored by Robert Garrett and published onSeptember 16, 2015 introduced a new trend, whereby, even insuredresidents of Texas lack adequate access to health care. Garrett(2015) held that a lower provider fee in Texas has created a scenarioin which enrollees of Medicaid find it difficult to find health careprofessionals who are willing to serve them. Although the Affordablecare act has increased the number of people who can access healthcare coverage, there are other barriers that limit their ability tofind treatment.

Similarly,an article written by Brett Thorne and Leslee Bassman and publishedin Community Impact Newspaper on June 15, 2016 showed that thementally ill residents have a limited access to health care in thestate of Texas. According to Bassman &amp Thorne (2016) Texas ranksthe fourth in the list of states with the least number ofpsychiatrists, where 4 psychiatrists are expected to serve 100,000citizens. The rural areas have the least number of health careproviders, which makes it hard for rural residents to find medicalassistance, especially for emergency cases. Besides the lack ofcoverage, the shortage of psychiatrists affects residents living withmental illnesses.

Severalsuggestions have been made by the three authors, where some of themost significant ones include the Medicaid expansion under theprovisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the development of theWomen’s Health Program and Expanded Primary Health Care Program(Stone, 2015), and an increase in the number of providers of healthcare (Garrett, 2015). According to Stone (2015) Texas could allowover 3 million residents to access medical insurance by adopting theACA’s provision that require states to expand Medicaid program.This proposal was rejected in Texas in the year 2015, thus denyingmillions of residence the opportunity to enjoy the full benefits ofACA.

Inconclusion, inadequate access to health care is among the mostpressing challenges in Texas. This challenge has been attributed tonumerous factors, including the lack of access to health insuranceand the chronic shortage of psychiatrists. The problem has been madeworse by the Texas’ refusal to adopt provisions of ACA, which couldhave helped millions of residents (including the poor anddisadvantaged citizens) access medical care.

References

Bassman,L. &amp Thorne, B. (2016, June 15). Texas, Hays County see mentalhealth care services shortage. CommunityImpact Newspaper.Retrieved July 5, 2016, fromhttps://communityimpact.com/austin/san-marcos-buda-kyle/healthcare/2016/06/15/texas-hays-county-see-mental-health-care-services-shortage/

Garrett,T. (2015, September 17). More in Texas lack health insurance than inany other state. TheDallas Morning News.Retrieved July 5, 2016, fromhttp://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20150916-more-in-texas-lack-health-insurance-than-in-any-other-state.ece

Stone,E. (2015, July 23). MMH study shows lack of access as biggest hurdleto health care. HearstNewspaper, II LLC.Retrieved July 5, 2016, fromhttp://www.mrt.com/news/local/article_cd133b4a-30c8-11e5-81b5-177ecabb4a7a.html