HISPANICS PUSH TEXAS TO NO. 1 IN UNINSURED RESIDENTS
August 31, 2007
Texas ranks No. 1 with the highest percentage of uninsured residents in the nation -- primarily due to the state's growing Hispanic population, according to a report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In Texas, noncitizens are almost three times as likely to be uninsured as U.S. citizens.
- Immigrants, many of whom are Hispanic, often work in industries less likely to offer health insurance, such as construction, according to the Texas Medical Association.
- In total, Texas has 5.5 million without health insurance coverage, second only to the larger state of California, which has 6.7 million uninsured people.
The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) says a growing number of households are uninsured because they want to be. According to Devon Herrick, senior fellow at the NCPA:
- A Blue Cross Blue Shield Association report on the uninsured recently estimated that nearly 14 million adults and children qualified for government health insurance programs but did not enroll.
- Over the past 10 years, the number of those in households earning $50,000 to $75,000 without insurance grew 49 percent, while the number of uninsured from households earning above $75,000 jumped 90 percent.
"The uninsured population is a diverse group, each with a different reason for lacking insurance," Herrick said. "Income may be a factor, but it is not the only one. Some come from cultures without a strong history of paying premiums for health insurance; others don't see it as a good economic value."
Source: Jason Roberson, "Hispanics Push Texas to No. 1 in Uninsured Residents," Hispanic Business, August 29, 2007.
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