Herbert Cotto, who works at the Port of Galveston, does not have health insurance.

Galveston County’s number of uninsured residents has been cut in half in the past decade. But that bit of local progress pales when viewed within the context of national and state trends and the lack of attention given to the uninsured problem by state leaders in Texas.

Texas has the highest number and the highest rate of uninsured people in the nation, ranking 51st after all other states and Washington, D.C., according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Galveston County fares better than much of the state with 13 percent or a little less than 44,000 residents under age 65 uninsured, compared with 19 percent across Texas. The national average is 11 percent.

Kathryn Eastburn: 409-683-5257; kathryn.eastburn@galvnews.com.

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(18) comments

Bailey Jones

Mr. Trump promised us the best health care we've ever seen, at a cost lower than we can believe. Of course, that was before he discovered that "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated".

IMHO, in the richest country in the world, the difference between being wealthy and being poor should be a matter of whether you drive a Lexus or ride a bike, whether you own a big house or rent a tiny apartment, and whether you shop at the Galleria or the thrift store, not whether you live or die.

I'll sit back now and watch while the abysmal insurance coverage in Texas gets blames on immigrants and Democrats.

Carlos Ponce

We could have had a better health plan..... But Senator (you know who) voted against his own promised aye vote.

Bailey Jones

Trump Kool-Aid, Carlos. All that TrumpCare bill would have done is repeal the individual mandate. Which means that your "better health plan" is just ObamaCare without the individual mandate.

Carlos Ponce

"All that TrumpCare bill would have done is repeal the individual mandate." HR 1628, the Health Care Freedom Act" did FAR MORE than repeal the individual mandate. See text:


Bailey Jones

"the Health Care Freedom Act" did FAR MORE than repeal the individual mandate." No, it didn't. But it do did a LITTLE more - it defunded Planned Parenthood, it eliminated the employer mandate, it temporarily raised the cap on HCAs, it gave states the "freedom" to limit coverage, it banned the medical device tax for three years, and it cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health care solved!

Carlos Ponce

It would have done far more than what you mention.

Paul Steele

“I have a bill there now for $1,500 and all I had was strep throat,” he said. “All they did was look in my mouth and give me a penicillin shot in my butt.” What a ripoff. Time to manage/control medical cost please.

Carlos Ponce

"Time to manage/control medical cost please." Unless you're in a "grocery store desert" when you shop, you select a store with the best prices. Why not the same for health care providers? Competition through price posting would lower costs.

Strep Throat Treatment:

Provider A: Cost $500

Provider B: Cost $100

Provider C: Cost $750

Provider D: Cost $1500 - You picked this one. Maybe because you like the magazines in the waiting room?

"Just because you've become a grown man now

There's still some things that you don't understand now

Before you ask some doctor for some care now

Keep your money for as long as you can now"

My mama told me, you better shop around

Oh yeah, you better shop around" - Apologies to Smokey Robinson[beam]

Gary Scoggin

Gee, Carlos, I never knew it was this easy. In the real world, though, I think you have to consider things like...

-Am I on a medical plan that forces me to a certain doctor.?

-Can I actually get a cost estimate before the doctor sees me, at which point I already owe her money?

-What will the non-doctor costs - drugs, hospitals, etc. -- be?

-What am I being charged as a cash payer versus any discounts i can negotiate?

-Is my condition acute enough that I don't have time to shop around? (Like with strep throat, maybe.)

-Do I have an established relationship with a particular physician?

-How long do I have to wait to get an appointment outside of a urgent care setting?

Or I suppose we could just take advice from a 60 year old Motown song.

Carlos Ponce

"Shopping around" means you take the things you list under consideration.

Jim Forsythe

If the ACA is done away with, a person does need to worry because they can just call around for the best price? Unless a program is passed, why would you do away with one that covers many people? If we do strike down ACA it will be back to 14,000 more Galveston County residents depending on the ER for their health care.

"If the Affordable Care Act is struck down, with it goes the option for Texas to expand Medicaid, as well as the health care insurance policies of some 14,000 Galveston County residents. In Texas, the number of uninsured under 65 could increase from 4.6 million to 6.4 million, according to the Urban Institute."

Herbert Cotto needs to be applauded for making sure he was able to do his job, because he took care of his health needs quickly, and did not have to miss work. Not may options on the weekend, except some type of ER. Tell them you are shopping around and see how well that would work.

Carlos Ponce

Federal district court Reed C. O'Connor has already struck down the law as un-Constitutional. Congress should work on a replacement ASAP. But alas, the current House wants to ride that dead horse.

Jim Forsythe

If the ACA was dead, then it could not be alive. Does this ruling include all appeals? The House and the Senate are set up to require more than 50% pass bills. A President should be able to promote good bills with both sides of the isle. If nothing is passed, why do away with what we have?

Reed C. O'Connor has already struck down the ACA many times, so what is different this time?

Carlos Ponce

All District court decisions can be appealed. That's why it's still partially in effect pending the outcome. Doesn't look good for ACA.

Jim Forsythe

So the ACA is not a dead horse.

Carlos Ponce

The judicial climate says the ACA is terminal.

Jim Forsythe

Over 70 Republican-led attempts to repeal the ACA ,and it's still ticking. The reports of ACA's death are greatly exaggerated

On February 3, 2015, the House of Representatives added its 67th repeal vote to the record (239 to 186). This attempt also failed

The Tuesday, February 2, 2016 vote, with a tally of 241–186, was the 63rd attempt by the House.

After the July 27, 2017 vote on the Health Care Freedom Act, Newsweek "found at least 70 Republican-led attempts to repeal, modify or otherwise curb the Affordable Care Act since its inception as law on March 23, 2010

Carlos Ponce

The ACA is as good as dead. It is un-Constitutional. The only reason it passed SCOTUS review last time is now gone.

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