TEXAS — Texas once again has the highest rate of uninsured people in the country, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 2017, 17.3 percent of Texans were uninsured. That's an increase from its rate of 16.6 percent in 2016.
“It was disappointing to see this downtown because we’d had three consecutive years of improvement and the first years of improvement,” said Anne Dunkelberg, who oversees health care policy at the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities. “This was our first year of back-sliding, if you will.”
Dunkelberg blames several actions taken at the federal level.
“Cutting navigators. That’s people who help people enroll [in the Affordable Care Act]. Also eliminating contracts for people who are out there helping people enroll and renew their coverage,” Dunkelberg said.
She also points to Texas’ decision not to expand Medicaid eligibility as allowed under the Affordable Care Act as a main reason for the state’s high uninsured rate.
Opponents of the ACA say it creates unnecessary costs and doesn’t necessarily lead to better care.
Nationwide more than 28 million Americans were not insured in 2017. That's in line with the overall percentage reported by the Census Bureau for 2016.
Click the video link above to watch the full interview with Dunkelberg.