The Great State of Texas, a leader in so many other things, unfortunately, is not a leader in healthcare.
United Healthcare Foundation, UnitedHealth Group
This is according to America’s Health Rankings, an annual state-by-state survey of healthcare in the nation sponsored by the United Healthcare Foundation. The UHF was founded in 1999 by the UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest healthcare insurer and 7th largest corporation in the world, which operates in Texas as a dental maintenance organization and managed care organization for Texas Medicaid.
The annual rankings are based on a “historical and comprehensive set of health, environmental and socioeconomic data to determine national health benchmarks and state rankings. The platform analyzes more than 340 measures of behaviors, social and economic factors, physical environment and clinical care data. Data is based on public-use data sets, such as the U.S. Census and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the world’s largest annual population-based telephone survey of over 400,000 people.”
Due to the pandemic, no report was published in 2020 and 2021.
In 2022, Texas underperformed in several key areas compared to other states:
- 48th in public health funding, spending $74 per person when the US value is $116.
- 49th in the percentage of individuals avoiding care due to cost
- 47th in primary care available
- 50th in the uninsured population
- 46th in childhood immunizations
- 45th in food insecurity (% of households)
- 44th in air pollution
- 50th in risk-screening environmental indicators
As far as dental care is concerned:
- 39th in dental care providers available
- 48th in dental visits (% ages 18+)
Legislative priorities are not healthcare
It is a shame that ordinary healthcare is not taking a higher priority in objectives for the upcoming legislative session.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s chief priorities are property tax relief plus “boosting border security, law enforcement, state investment in mental health facilities, restoration of the Alamo, education, school security and tightening the state’s election laws” according to the Texas Tribune.
With the massive windfall for this coming session’s budget, this is a shame.
The full 2022 state-by-state report can be downloaded here.