Texas Among States Doing Best Under Health Reform

As law’s second anniversary approaches, 7.5 Million Texans enjoy benefits already

March 20, 2012                                                Contact: Christine Sinatra    (512) 473-2274      

AUSTIN — Texas is one of the biggest winners under health care reform, with more of its residents benefiting from provisions of the federal law than is true for almost any other place in the country. Among the 50 states, last year Texas had the second highest number of people who received preventive services at no cost, the second-highest number of young adults who gained coverage as a result of being able to join their parents’ health plans and the third highest number of people with preexisting conditions who obtained coverage thanks to the law, according to Texas Well and Healthy.

During a conference call this morning for members of the press, the campaign shared data on how Texans are faring under health reform and discussed its database of Texans statewide willing to talk to the press about what the Affordable Care Act has done for them. The nation’s health law celebrates its second anniversary on Friday and the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the law next week.

“Before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, I was told by every insurance broker I spoke with that no insurance company would sell us coverage for our son because of his pre-existing condition,” said Michelle Cunningham, a mother of two, including an 8-year-old with leukemia. “When the part of the Affordable Care Act that guarantees coverage for children with pre-existing conditions went into effect, we were able to buy a family policy that would cover our son, regardless.  This was a huge relief to our family. I don’t know what we would have done if it weren’t for the Affordable Care Act.”

Cunningham is one of an estimated 7.5 million Texans who have already received benefits under the law, including:

  • 3.8 million privately insured Texans, including 1.1 million children, who can now get preventive care, such as vaccines and well-child check-ups, without a copay.
  • 7.5 million privately insured Texans can rest assured that if they ever have a costly medical condition, their insurance wouldn’t be able to cap the benefits they are covered to receive.
  • 300,731 young adult Texans gained health coverage through their parents’ plan under the law.
  • Over 5 million privately insured Texans are benefiting from the rule that makes sure insurers spend at least 80% of the premium dollars they are given on providing health care, not overhead and profits.
  • 4,029 formerly uninsured Texans with conditions that previously prevented them from getting coverage have it today and are receiving care they need under the law.
  • 2.2 million Texans on Medicare received preventive services with no patient cost-sharing for the first time.

Additionally, Texas had the fourth-largest influx of new dollars to improve public health and community health centers. The state received $37 million in federal funds for public health, while community health centers gained $78 million in 2011.

To review a recording of today’s call for the media, visit http://bit.ly/GD79vU.

The Texas Well and Healthy Campaign is a broad, grassroots coalition working to ensure that every Texan has access to comprehensive and affordable health insurance. Participating organizations in Tuesday’s call included the Center for Public Policy Priorities, Children’s Defense Fund – Texas, Texans Care for Children, Consumers Union and Texas Public Interest Research Group. Learn more about the campaign at http://texaswellandhealthy.org.

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