Monday, October 02, 2006

It's Monday! YOU Do the Math!

Saturday I went to a very informative forum held at UTA. It was a forum for the candidates who are running for the Texas Governor position, which is do up for vote this November, to share their thoughts and ideas on Texas Healthcare. Three of the four candidates running accepted the invitation. The one who declined to attend happens to be the current governor. And you know what, when you read some of the following statistics about Texas' current healthcare status, I think if I was him, I would have chosen not to attend as well.

[You can read more about the forum I went to and see all four of the candidate's positions on Texas Healthcare at this link.]

Here is some of the information I noted from the forum that I found interesting...

Over the past few years, the cost of healthcare has increased more than 4-times the rate of wages. Healthcare has increased by 87% and wages by 20%.

The average healthcare premium in Texas is $1000 higher than the national average.

46.6 million Americans are uninsured. This is a 6.8 million people increase in the past 5 years. And many of these people are middle-class individuals.

5.5 million of these uninsured Americans live in Texas. This means more than 25% of the population in Texas is uninsured. This makes Texas the state with the HIGHEST rate of uninsured individuals.

Texas is ranked as the 47th state for providing for mental health and substance abuse.

Texas is experiencing an extreme nurse shortage. It is predicted that if things continue at the same rate as they are going now, by the year 2020, Texas will have a shortage of 220,000 nurses.

All of this is interesting to consider, especially when you consider this quote that one of the candidates pointed out...

We are the richest state in the country, arguably with California.
~Kinky Friedman

Hmmm...I think we have some serious issues to address in the area of healthcare, Texans!


ACU35 said...

For me it is no surprise that Texas has the highest rate of uninsured individuals. Texas has one of the highest numbers of illegal immmigrants. Most of the hispanic immigrants that cross over the boarder (hard workers nonetheless) are not eligable and not recieving healthcare. Most of those who are eligable for healthcare as they are legal are working lowered paid jobs that don't offer healthcare plans. When you consider that the hispanic population of Texas is almost if not already the majority and add in the number of illegal immigrants then really it is no surprise that Texas does have such a high rate of uninsured individuals. Also, with the cost of healthcare being so high in Texas again goes back to those who recieve medical care at local hospitals, but are not obligated to pay it back. Illegal immigrants and those who cannot afford healthcare by law still have to recieve care if they go to a hospital as hospitals cannot by law turn individuals away. This eats up your healthcare system real fast if you have people recieving care but not adding to healthcare pot. This is an issue in Texas already, but is soon going to be an issue for ALL states as immigration progresses. Coming up with a plan that serves ALL in the country regardless of legal status is something that could be a challenge due to scarcity which is what economics is based upon. Well, mabey Brad Pitt or California could throw some money this way to help us out.

bpb said...

Health care should be available for everyone. No exceptions. This is a decision that I've reached over the last few years. I think I used to feel republican, i.e., if you can't take care of yourself, that's your problem. In some cases, that may still be true. Too many people are in this situation, not by choice, but by circumstance. Who am I to be their judge?

princess kelly said...

I have two words for you: Socialized Medicine.

FeedingYourMind said...

Thanks for the comments each of you. I share many of the same thoughts...

ACU35: I must say, originally when I thought about this, I thought, "well maybe the illegal immigrants were not considered in this tally because I wondered, are the illegals counted on the census--therefore making them part of the population? I don't know the answer to that, but I bet they are included when considering the 25% uninsured number because that statistic might be gathered from hospital/doctor visits, and working at a county hospital is called "Welcome Illegal Immigrants."

bpb: You know, I have come to a point in my life where I've begun to really question a lot of things I have "believed" for a while previous to now. I would have to agree that unfortunately, a lot of people do find themselves in positions that aren't "chosen" so to say.

princess kelly: I like your way of thinking! ;)