AUSTIN, texas -- The number of people in Texas without health insurance is going up, according to a new survey released by Gallup Wednesday.
The survey shows the number of uninsured people in Texas rose by 1.6 percent in 2017. It marks a reversal of a four-year decline in the number of uninsured.
Census data shows Texas leads the nation in rates of uninsured people, and while the state's been making headway since the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014, some, like Elizabeth Colvin at Insure Central Texas worry that recent moves to kill the ACA could now be reversing that progress.
"Insurance has been confusing for a long time, and wondering whether or not the affordable care act was still the law or not just increased that confusion," Colvin said.
Adding to the strain, the individual mandate goes away in 2019.
"But what we've seen is there are lots of reasons to sign up for health insurance that have nothing to do with that mandate," Colvin said.
Even so, some worry that the recent uptick in Texas' uninsured could just be the beginning of a greater trend.
Dr. David Fleeger, a colon and rectal surgeon, said at least once a week a patient comes in to his practice without insurance.
"I'm going to take care of those patients, but it makes it hard on me because I'm taking care of them for free now, and I'll have to take them to the hospital and the hospital has to take care of them for free," Fleeger said.
Fleeger is calling on lawmakers to do something.
"If they don't like the ACA, then we need something that works better," Fleeger said.
According to the Gallup survey, 16 other states saw similar trends. And, for the first time since 2013, no state saw a decrease in the uninsured rate compared to the previous year.