Deep In the Heart(less) Of Texas

 

We don’t need no health insurance

We don’t need no safety net

The political leaders, all of them well-insured, have the people of Texas singing a bastardized version of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2.  “We don’t need no health insurance.”  It must be working.  Texas leads the country with the most people age 18 – 64 without insurance.  And they keep electing people who see no reason change their status.

Bloomberg News recently published an article entitled, “Fewer Americans Without Health Plans Since Obamacare Debut”.  The article features a map showing which states had the lowest percent of uninsured and which had the highest.  The highest, to the surprise of no one, were Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  Close behind were Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.  Of course, the Pacific Coast States and the states in the Northeast had the highest percentage of insureds.

These reports tend to pretty repetitive. A look at life expectancy in our country reveals similar results.  Here are the bottom 10:

West Virginia                                                  63.8 years

Kentucky                                                         64.3

Oklahoma                                                       64.5

Alabama                                                          64.6

Mississippi                                                      64.9

Louisiana                                                        65

Tennessee                                                      65.4

Arkansas                                                        65.5

South Carolina                                               65.8

Indiana                                                            66

Is there a corollary between health insurance, our system to access and pay for medical coverage, and life expectancy? I can’t say definitively, but it couldn’t hurt.

I bring this to your attention because there are a group of people who find the promise of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) disturbing and disruptive.  Why should everyone have access to health insurance?  Why should Americans with preexisting medical conditions be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase health insurance?  Why should access be available to just anybody?

Texas vs. The United States of America

The State of Texas has filed a lawsuit to invalidate the PPACA.  The suit was filed in February 2018 in federal district court of Northern District Texas.  There are 18 attorneys general and two governors associated with this lawsuit led by Ken Paxton of Texas.  All of the attorneys generals are Republicans as are the two governors.  The goal of the suit is to have the judge to declare Obamacare unconstitutional and to prohibit the federal government “from implementing, regulating, enforcing, or otherwise acting under the authority of the ACA.”  A preliminary injunction was filed to immediately end the PPACA pending the outcome of the trial.  Abruptly terminating the PPPACA would result in unimaginable turmoil.  Let’s be clear, the following individuals could not possibly care less.

The Attorney General of:

  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • West Virginia

The Governor of:

  • Maine
  • Mississippi

It isn’t enough that their own population may have difficulty accessing health care. The above elected officials want to disrupt YOURS!  And who is defending the suit?  The Justice Department has taken a pass.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already decided that eliminating the Individual Mandate last year effectively eliminates the need to cover people with preexisting conditions and any of the other beneficial provisions of the PPACA.  The defense is being led by Xavier Becerra, the Attorney General of California.

There is no doubt that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is imperfect law. Surely it needs adjustments and changes, but few laws, and certainly one as all-encompassing as the PPACA, don’t.  While this lawsuit, much like the 60+ bills passed by US House of Representatives over the last 8 years, doesn’t lack from political ambition, it fails to offer any alternative.  This lawsuit hopes to not be successful.  Success would be disastrous.  But what would happen if they did succeed?  Like President Trump’s elimination of the funding for the Cost Sharing Reduction or last year’s tax bill that effectively killed the Individual Mandate, their indifference to the consequences of their actions should give us all pause.  Please don’t ask Mr. Paxton or Mr. Sessions about the sick, the injured, or the uninsured.  Their focus is strictly on the next sound bite, the next fundraising letter.  And as per Mr. Paxton, he’s safe.  He lives in Texas.

We don’t need no health insurance

We don’t need no safety net

Dave

www.cunixinsurance.com 

Picture – David L Cunix – With Your Boots On

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