Texas is one of only 12 states that have not yet chosen to expand health insurance coverage to low-income adults using the financially attractive mechanism created with passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. In addition to enhancing the health and wellbeing of individuals directly affected, expanding health insurance coverage involves substantial economic and fiscal benefits.
Through their joint mission of providing top-quality health care and training for medical professionals, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT) and UT Health East Texas (UTHET) generate a substantial increase in business activity and benefit the entire region in multiple ways. In addition to providing care for tens of thousands of patients each year, they provide jobs, procure needed goods and services, prepare health professionals (many of whom remain in the area), and conduct meaningful research, resulting in significant economic benefits.
Midland stands at the epicenter of an economic phenomenon of global importance which has created an enormous opportunity for the area. With proactive efforts, Midland can prepare for the challenges ahead and ensure the opportunities associated with oil and gas and related activity benefit the full community.
Texas is one of only 14 states choosing not to expand health insurance coverage to low-income adults using the financially attractive mechanism created with passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. Almost 1.5 million Texans would immediately become eligible for expanded coverage, according to analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Nonprofit establishments improve lives, communities, and society as a whole. These entities offer a variety of services and include hospitals and other health care providers, schools and universities, art museums, and many other types of operations. Not only do these organizations provide important services that enhance quality of life and societal wellbeing; they also generate substantial economic benefits through their operations and the associated multiple rounds of activity through the economy.
Local jails are typically poorly equipped to deal with mental illness and related issues. Nonetheless, individuals with mental disorders are all too often incarcerated simply due to a lack of other options. Not only do these persons fail to receive needed and adequate treatment, but are also more likely to have various complications both when in custody and after release. At the same time, incarceration is costly for communities. In response to these concerns, programs have emerged across the country which seek to offer more appropriate options for both persons suffering from mental disorders and communities attempting to provide necessary services with scarce resources.
Even beyond the obvious physical and mental costs of food insecurity and the incalculable toll on the stability and dignity of families across the United States, there is also a tremendous economic cost. Health care needs of people who are food insecure are higher due to increased incidence and severity of disease. Health outcomes are also worse, reducing productivity and lifetime earnings. In addition, education expenses are higher, with a greater need for intervention such as special education. Achievement levels (and, hence, lifetime earnings) are negatively affected. These costs multiply as they work their way through the business complex and are largely borne by the whole of society. The Perryman Group estimates that hunger costs the US economy $461.9 billion in total expenditures and $221.9 billion in gross product each year as well as nearly 2.5 million permanent jobs on an ongoing basis.
Mental health and substance abuse disorders are pressing challenges across the nation. While these problems can clearly take an enormous toll on individuals, they also involve sizable costs for society as a whole. For those without private insurance, problems can be particularly acute. Given funding challenges, dealing with these issues increasingly requires innovative approaches to maximize the return on investment in services. Even beyond the quality of life and other human costs, mental health disorders can be expensive in terms of treatment. With inadequate treatment, overall costs, such as comorbidities, loss of wages and productivity, incarceration, homelessness, and mortality, can notably escalate.