^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4

Texas Has Worst Health Care in Nation, Report Says. But What Does the Government Know?

Texas Republicans have been complaining loudly since the Supreme Court decided that the Affordable Care Act passed constitutional muster. The law is a huge overreach by the federal government, it's a "stomach-punch" to the economy, Obama is a socialist, etc. etc. There's even quite serious talk about refusing a Medicaid expansion that would cover an additional 1.5 million poor people, thus foregoing billions of dollars in federal assistance.

The expansion would seem a no-brainer, but that's not what this is about. Texas' fight against Obamacare is about freedom: Freedom from federal interference, the freedom of citizens to do as they please, the freedom to make hyperbolic pronouncements about U.S. policy. Most of all, however, this is about the freedom to have a terrible health care system.

But Texas' health care system isn't just terrible. As we learned yesterday from an annual state-by-state assessment of health care services and delivery by the federal Agency For Health Care Research and Quality, it's the most terrible. That's not an easy distinction to claim. As you can see from this list, we just barely edged out such paragons of effectiveness as West Virginia and Arkansas.

The agency compiled the rankings based on state's scores in 12 categories. Overall, Texas got 31.61 out of a possible 100 points. It did fairly well in maternal and child health measures but preventative care? Not so much. Diabetes treatment? Bad and getting worse. Heart disease? Terrible. Home health? Unbelievably terrible.

The rankings don't delve much into how Texas' health care system got to be so terrible, so feel free to guess. Throngs of people uninsured? A statewide fetish with limited government? Parkland? Whatever the reason, the bottom line remains the same.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Texas Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman spun the news as best she could. Sure, the score was very bad and underscores the need to improve, but the state is already taking steps in the right direction.

"Late last year Texas received approval for a new effort that will help fund innovative local projects," she told the AP. "Hospitals and other health care providers have come together to form regional partnerships, and they'll soon be sending the state their plans for making better use of Medicaid funds to expand access to preventive services and reduce the need for expensive emergency room care."

So maybe next year we'll have rocketed past West Virginia, then Arkansas the next year. Then again, maybe we should stay at the bottom, just to make a point. You can take your socialized medicine and shove it, Mr. Obama. We'll get by just fine without it. And remember: Don't mess with Texas.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.