According to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, more than 67 percent of Texans who lack health care coverage are employed, so the state’s growing health insurance crisis is clearly not caused by a lack of initiative or willingness to work. The problem is the lack of accessible, affordable employer-based health insurance in Texas.
The Health and Human Services Commission also says that Texans are less likely than workers in other states to receive health insurance through their job. Only 54 percent are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance, compared with 63 percent of workers nationally.
Many Texas businesses cannot afford to offer coverage because of skyrocketing health care costs. Even when coverage is available, employees often cannot afford exorbitant premiums and co-pays. The nearly 6 million Texans who lack health insurance deserve affordable, accessible health care coverage.
Statistics alone fail to adequately capture the human toll suffered by those who can’t afford health care. At AARP Texas, we hear their stories all the time: Cancer patients who cannot afford health insurance; people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and heart disease who cannot fill their costly prescriptions; workers who quit their jobs to care for ailing spouses because they cannot afford to pay for in-home care; people who burn through their life savings, lose their homes and end up in bankruptcy because someone got sick.
AARP is fighting to make the system work for everyone. This is a critical time in the health care reform debate. We need your help. To join us in the health care reform effort, go to HealthActionNow.org, or call 1-866-227-7449 toll-free. Join the cause. Together, we can make sure that every American has access to affordable, quality health care for generations to come. The time to act is now.