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.
The pandemic and resulting economic dislocations are creating significant fiscal challenges for the State and local governments. In particular, the budgetary process in the upcoming legislative session will be daunting.
Dr. Perryman breaks down his firm's findings in a recent study on the benefits of a federal program to expand coverage for Texans.
If there was a way for Texas to expand health insurance coverage to nearly a million of the state's most vulnerable people, enhancing their access to needed care, I think we can all agree that would be a very good thing. State budget constraints are a reality, but if the expansion could be accomplished without costing taxpayers anything, it would clearly be the right choice. What if Texas could increase coverage and actually come out ahead for taxpayers because of the substantial economic benefits? It would only make sense to do so. Right?
In a recent column, I talked about the enormous economic benefits of Texas nonprofit entities. We estimate that when multiplier effects are considered, ongoing operations of Texas nonprofits include $110.0 billion in annual gross product and nearly 1.4 million jobs (about one-eighth of all private-sector jobs in the state). In response to several requests, let's take a closer look at the types of organizations and their positive impacts.