USA Today has a piece on the health care crisis in America, focusing specifically on Houston. In fact, they profiled Ben Taub hospital, right next door to where I work, as one of the best examples of the problem. A few points really jumped out at me_
- 30% of people in Harris county (which is essentially Houston) have no insurance. That's the highest rate among the top ten metropolitan areas in the US
- In order to qualify for Medicaid in Texas, a family of three must make less than $4,822 in income.
Are you freaking kidding me? A 40-hour per week job at minimum wage pays around 10 grand, and if you've ever tried to live on that kind of salary, you know that they certainly need all the help they can get. Other states have more reasonable levels set_ In Florida it's $10,000, in California it's $18,000, and the cutoff is $25,000 in New York.
The state has forfeited more than $900 million in federal money under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) during the past six years because it wouldn't put up 28 cents for each 72 cents in federal aid. Restrictions put in place in 2003 cut about 200,000 children from the program in a state with the highest percentage of uninsured children, nearly twice the national average.
Welcome to Texas_ We don't give a rat's ass about children.
Hat tip to Mike for the link