Friday, September 9, 2011

Texas healthcare system withering under Perry, "leading the way into a downward spiral."

Rick Perry saying he would scuttle the new federal healthcare law if elected president. (Nati Harnik / AP / September 8, 2011)
Noam Levey has an eye opening piece in the Los Angeles Times today about the collapse of the Texas health care system in Texas under Rick Perry. Here's a few facts from the article...
"Texas just hasn't proven it can run a health system," said Dr. C. Bruce Malone III, an orthopedic surgeon and president of the historically conservative Texas Medical Assn.
More than a quarter of Texans lack health insurance, the highest rate in the nation
Those costs are passed to the insured. Insurance premiums have risen more quickly in Texas than they have nationally over the last seven years. And when compared with incomes, insurance in Texas is less affordable than in every state but Mississippi
That has taken a toll, as nearly a third of the state's children did not receive an annual physical and a teeth cleaning in 2007, placing Texas 40th in a state ranking
Perry promotes the state as a model for a private-sector healthcare solution. Low taxes and limited government, he and his allies say, lure businesses that can offer private insurance and empower working people to make their own healthcare choices.
But across Texas, health coverage — and health — are eroding even in places where jobs are plentiful.
For years, healthcare leaders here have urged elected officials to act. A 2006 task force of doctors, academic leaders and business executives warned of a "problem of epidemic proportions" that threatened "the economic vitality and health of Texas."
But Texas still has among the fewest physicians per capita in the country, according to census data.
This year, the governor and state Legislature slashed funding to train physicians to less than half of what it was a decade ago. Another initiative highlighted by Perry's office to aid community health centers was also cut.
That came atop $800 million in cuts to hospitals and other medical providers that serve poor children, pregnant women and others who rely on Medicaid.
"The question seems to be how little can we fund and still have a system," said Dr. Jane Rider, a past president of the Texas Pediatric Society. "I always thought they would wake up and see, if nothing else, they need a healthy, educated workforce.... Instead, it seems like we're leading the way into a downward spiral."
The inability to respond to wildfires long predicted isn't the only symptom of the failure of Texas government under Perry. Welcome to Rick Perry's tea bagger loonytoonian fantasy land. You'll love it! If you're rich.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Policy: Anyone can comment. Registration is not required. There is no moderation. We do not censor or remove comments. Your comment should show up immediately.

The only exception is we will remove any comment that identifies, targets, threatens or in any way harasses any private individual.

Comments that include excessive vulgarity, racial slurs, death wishes and WILD ALL CAPS RANTS may be featured.

In recognition of the fact that this is very probably an entirely unworkable policy so vague as to be completely meaningless and therefore ultimately unenforceable, we reserve the right to do whatever the bleep we might bleepity-bleep well feel like doing at any bleeping given time. Please adjust your clocks accordingly.

BTW, "we" is me. If you don't like it, feel free to complain. Make sure you include excessive vulgarity, racial slurs, death wishes and WILD ALL CAPS RANTS.