Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PPACA's Impact on Texas & Concho Valley in 2019

Now that health care reform has passed, it's time to look nearly a decade ahead. I've chronicled the four year wait before the number of uninsureds begins to drop in earnest, during which employer coverage continues its historical swoon. But there are happy times ahead.

CBO predicts 32 million Americans will gain coverage between 2014 & 2019. How might this play out in Texas? What will happen in the Concho Valley?

FamiliesUSA made projections for Texas. Had reform not passed, they predict over 7 million Texans without coverage in 2019. With reform, nearly 4.2 million Texans get health insurance. That leaves almost 2.9 million Texans without insurance come 2019. Here's the percentage breakdown:

60% get covered
40% remain uninsured

In 2006 the Concho Valley (plus Runnels County) had almost 34,000 uninsureds. Allowing for population growth, this increases to 38,000 in 2019. With 60% gaining coverage (22,500), that leaves 15,500 (40%) without health insurance.

The burden of providing care for the uninsured will decrease by more than half, should these predictions come to life. That's a very good thing, but local safety net providers will not see the elimination of the uninsured, not by a long shot. 2019 will find the arrow hitting the target, but the bulls eye of full coverage sits far away. Meanwhile politicians argue over the cost.

Update 10-28-15:  Nearly 800,000 kids in Texas remain uninsured, despite some improvement from PPACA 

Update 4-3-22:   The average health insurance premium more than tripled for a family plan since PPACA passed in 2010.  Cost curve bent but in the wrong direction.  Concave went convex.  

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