Texas health insurance may be more readily available and affordable to all Americans, but a recent study revealed that individuals and families of color have a negative perception of their health status despite increased access to coverage. The study, published in mid-August in the Journal of the American Medical Association paints a sobering picture as the current administration continues to add protections and affordable coverage options as part of its American Rescue Plan.
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According to HealthDay.com, the findings of the recent study are based on “over 596,000 U.S. adults that took part in a periodic federal health survey between 1999 and 2018. In 1999, low-income Black Americans were the group most likely to rate their health as ‘poor’ or ‘fair,’ with 29% saying so. That compared with roughly 6% of middle- to high-income white adults.’ By 2018, those figures had barely budged, the study found. This includes individuals and families who already have health insurance in Texas, many of whom report that they were no better off in 2018 than two decades ago. HealthDay.com added that in 2018, Americans of all races said they’d skipped medical care or prescriptions in the past year because of costs. The highest rates were among low-income Black and white adults, with one-fifth to one-quarter saying they’d forgone medical care due to their inability to pay for proper care.
Rick Thornton, a health insurance broker in Texas, said not all news is bad news. Citing the study, researchers said that the percentage of Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans who were uninsured shrank considerably from 1999 to 2018. The study went on to credit the Affordable Care Act for expanding Medicaid programs in many states. Thornton added that time will tell how officials can improve healthcare and Americans’ perception of healthcare at the same time.
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