We are delighted to announce our next Educational Forum to be held at Collin College Spring Creek Conference Center on Tuesday, May 13th from 6:30-8:30pm. Our keynote speaker is author Steve Jacob. Steve is an adjunct professor at UNT, School of Public Health. He writes for D-Magazine and the April issue featured an article on Collin County, “Collin County Health Care Gold Mine” you can read by clicking on this link. The conversation about Healthcare in Collin County is one that we hope to initiate through this program. In addition to Steve’s talk, we will have a panel discussion and audience participation. We hope we will have many of those representing Collin County Healthcare at this event to have an open dialogue about the issues we face now and in the future. Physicians, Hospitals, Patients, insurance companies, the County, Project Access, Medical Societies, Mental Health providers, Clinics, etc. and you; all have a stake in this discussion. Please add this to your calendar. Steve Love from DFW Hospital Council will be our Moderator and we have Corey Davison, Tenet Healthcare, Dr. Anna Tran, Pediatrician, State Rep. Van Taylor confirmed as panelists. We need you to be in the audience with your questions and concerns. RSVP so we can keep track of the numbers and make sure, all are comfortable. Forward this email to those you know that would be interested in participating in this discussion.
Today Center for Public Policy and Priority(CPPP) released”Investing in Our Future: 2013 State of Texas Children”, Texas KIDS COUNT Annual Data Book, which takes a decade-long look at the effects our public policy choices have had on the well-being of the 6.9 million kids who live in Texas. This year’s analysis shows that child poverty continues to increase despite economic recovery, underscoring the need for Texas to make greater investments that move children and their families into the middle class. The report finds that outcomes for kids in health, education, nutrition, and safety often hinge on whether or not they live in poverty.
Please visit the link for more information: LINK
If you are interested in seeing if you are eligible for a premium subsidy there is a tool available that does this. The Kaiser Family Foundation – Subsidy Calculator can help. Just click on Subsidy Calculator (link below) and fill in some basic information and the calculator will let you know how much you can expect in a premium subsidy, if you qualify. Check it out and see what you and your family may qualify for.
Subsidy Calculator: LINK
Two examples that have impacted my family. My daughter living in Portland, OR is 24 and goes to medical school. As a student, she has very little income and because Oregon accepted the Medicaid Expansion, she qualifies for Medicaid. My sister-in-law living in Minnesota is in her early 60′s and is looking for work(she has a PHD in market research). She was paying $400+/mo. for catastrophic coverage that was cancelled because it did not meet the minimums established by the ACA. She now has better coverage through Obamacare and is fully subsidized.
HCCC has been working for over three years to fulfill our main mission to expand quality access to primary care in Collin County. Here are a few facts about the uninsured in Texas and Collin County.
Texas: Texas leads the nation with the highest uninsured rate of approximately 27%. Roughly 6 million Texans have no health insurance, including 1 million children. 40% of the state’s pregnant woman do not receive appropriate pre-natal care.
In Collin County, we have a rapidly growing population and of our 850,000+ population, 150,000 are uninsured. That is 24,000 children. This is an alarming number considering Collin County is one of the richest counties in the nation.
How does this impact you?
If you have insurance, your premiums continue to increase along with deductibles and copys. We are paying more and getting less. The biggest source of escalating costs is in our hospitals. We now have a nation of very sick, uninsured people using the most costly system of care…the emergency room. Even those that are insured can be rendered bankrupt if faced with a serious illness like cancer or heart disease. The Affordable Care Act(ACA) was the result of stakeholders trying to address this problem. Whether you are opposed to the law or not, we still have to address how we get more people insured and control the unsustainable increasing cost of health care.
How to reign-in health care costs and get more people insured?
This is the big question. Remember the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? It holds true today. By focusing more on prevention/lifestyle changes and treatment at the early signs of an illness, we can control costs and minimize severe health care challenges. Now, too many people wait until they are really sick before they go off to the emergency room for care. It is too expensive for all.
How are we paying for our expensive health care system now?
It is a combination of private pay, private and corporate insurance and federal tax dollars going to Medicare, Medicaid and uncompensated care to hospitals.
Medicaid Expansion, how would that help?
Expanding Medicaid is a provision under the Affordable Care Act(ACA). States have the right to opt out of it and Texas has chosen to do so. Some of the financial consequences are that 75,000+ Collin County residents will fall into the GAP in the Insurance Marketplace and will not be covered by Medicaid. $50+ Million of our Federal Tax dollars will go to other States who have opted for Medicaid Expansion. This money converts to 753 RN’s and 279 family doctors and the associated economic stimulus which is a significant byproduct of this decision.** According to the Perryman Group***, Texas currently gets a Federal match for Medicaid of $1.45 to every $1 of general revenue funds. By expanding Medicaid, Texas will receive $9 of Federal match to every $1 of State contribution. Recently, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and New Jersey have all reconsidered their position and have decided to expand Medicaid. The financial and social benefits are very hard to pass up. Our Texas Federal Tax dollars will be going to these states instead of contributing to our state economy. Some of the reasons for not participating in the Medicaid Expansion are: The system is broken so why would you want to expand a broken system. Medicaid is administered by the State, if the system is broken, it would appear the State is the one that needs to fix the problem. It has been tried before and failed. If this is the case, then why are States like California, Kentucky and Oregon so happy they took the deal? What if the Federal Government does not fund it and more of the burden becomes that of the State? Arizona was worried about the same thing and put a clause in their contract that allowed them to back out if Federal Funding was not appropriated. This issue has become political and sides are deeply divided. This is so unfortunate, because there are students, the working poor, widows and many others who could truly benefit from Medicaid Expansion. That is about 1 Million of our Texas neighbors.
Healthcare Committee of Collin County(HCCC)
*DFW Hospital Council, 2/7/13 Steve Love Medicaid Expansion Blog
** Center for Public Policy Priorities(nonpartisan)-Colllin County and the ACA: Fewer Uninsured, More Federal Health Care Dollars with Medicaid Expansion
*** THE PERRYMAN GROUP Only One Rational Choice: Texas Should Participate in Medicaid Expansion Under the Affordable Care Act
Our goal to have an FQHC Clinic in McKinney will involve fundraising and community awareness. If you would like to help make this happen we would welcome your talents and support. Fundraising efforts will begin soon and we need a lot of community support. Please contact HCCC here to let us know if you are able to help.