I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
Texas Health Institute, a non-partisan think-tank, recently issued a report identifying four immediate health care challenges Texans face and proposing solutions for policymakers, communities and consumers. The challenges are the number of uninsured people; obesity and diabetes; lack of mental health services; and shortages of health care professionals. I’d like to take a moment to talk about the uninsured.
One in four Texans is without health insurance, and the number of people without coverage is projected to reach 12 million in Texas alone by the year 2030 if nothing is done. In 2007, the Texas Health Institute outlined 12 policy solutions designed to reduce the number of uninsured in Texas by targeting specific subsets of the uninsured population, such as college students. Altogether, the policy solutions were projected to cut the state’s uninsured population in half.
The 2007 Legislature adopted four of the 12 solutions, including restoring the state Children’s Health Insurance Program. These changes are estimated to have covered 300,000 Texans who were previously not insured.
These were important steps, but much more is required to provide health insurance to the 5.5 million people in Texas without coverage. Government cannot do it alone. In April, Texas Health Resources convened a group of local business and community leaders to work together towards health care reform. For information about how to join this important discussion, visit TexasHealth.org and click on North Texas Health Care Forum.
For our faith-based hospitals – Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.