Texas has the highest rate of children without medical insurance in the country. The number of kids without health coverage could go up in 2023 if the Texas legislature declines to expand Medicaid yet again.
The state is one of eleven, and by far the largest, that has never accepted the expanded Medicaid coverage offered by the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Before the pandemic, Texas’s rate of children without medical coverage was 12.7 percent. However, federal bills passed during the COVID outbreak that offered emergency Medicaid funding dropped that to 11.8 percent, which is still the highest in the nation according to recent data from the Georgetown University’s Children’s Health Care Report Card. That funding is set to expire in 2023.
The lack of coverage can have dire consequences for children. Problems that can be treatable if detected by a doctor and caught early, such as many infections and cancers, can become fatal or life-altering if they are allowed to progress unchecked. Uninsured children are only one-third as likely to have all their vaccinations for preventable diseases. Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and asthma, may go untreated and affect a child’s performance in school.