Texas is the second largest state in the United States and also highly populous comprising of races such as whites, Hispanics, African American, and Asians respectively. Texas is situated to the South Central part of the country and has its capital as Austin and its largest city is Houston.
Services for the Poor
Texas has a welfare called Temporary Assistance for the Needy Families (TANF) which is a program to curb poverty. The TANF program allocates millions of dollars a year in cash assistance to help the poor families. Most beneficiaries of the TANF program are single parents who are financially unstable and cannot fend for their family members and the beneficiaries receive up to a maximum of $290 (Ura). In other states, the poor citizens are given food stamps which help them pay for food products to help improve their health and nutrition. Other states have homeless shelters to accommodate the poor individuals keeping them safe from harsh weather conditions since most of the poor people are not able to pay rents hence have no houses.
Breakdown of the Uninsured
Many individuals living in Texas are not insured and the number gradually continues to grow with passing years. The financial situation of many Texans does not enable them to obtain insurance due to its cost as most of them are poor and without employment. In terms of age, uninsured children aged between 0-18 years comprise of around 16%, uninsured adults aged between 19-64 years are about 30% while the elderly who are uninsured are less than 5%. There is a disparity in insurance level regarding the races of the residents living in Texas as the uninsured whites are about 14%, the uninsured Hispanics tower at around 36%, and the uninsured blacks are about 22% (Cover Texas Now).
Programs Covering the Uninsured
There are several programs developed to provide insurance cover to the uninsured and they include Medicaid, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The ACA is a healthcare reform law which seeks to address healthcare issues such as health insurance cover, healthcare costs, and preventive care and the program is funded through budget cuts, revenues, and increased taxes. The Medicare insurance program is majorly for the elderly citizens of over 65 years and its funding comes from payroll tax revenues and premiums (Health Management Associates). Medicaid is an insurance cover for the people with low-income levels and is funded by both federally and the state.
Steps to Influence Abortion Rates
In an attempt to reduce abortion rates in Texas, the Governor, Gregg Abbot signed a restriction that prevents normal insurance from covering abortion procedures. Individuals who need abortion procedures will require obtaining additional insurance covers for the abortion (Satter). Texas implemented a harsh anti-abortion bill called House Bill 2 which prevents one from abortion after 20 weeks. The bill also has restrictions which mandate that abortion providers have admitting privileges within 30 miles from where they practice. This restriction led to the closure of many hospitals making the people travel for longer distances thus, reducing abortion rates (Khazan).
Sonogram Law and Free Speech
The Sonogram law violates free speech for the physician as the physician is forced to give information regarding the fetus to the patient even if the patient does not want. Likewise, the law violates free speech for the patient as she is forced to receive information regarding the fetus even if she does not want. The state should not pass laws mandating what information physicians share with the patients because as citizens each individual has the liberty of speech and they can choose to listen or speak at will (The Daily Texan). Concerning this, it means that forcing individuals to listen or speak is a violation of free speech.
Cover Texas Now. “The Uninsured: The Big Problem in Texas”. Retrieved from: http://www.covertexasnow.org/content/uninsured-big-problem-texas
Health Management Associates. “Government Programs " The Uninsured” 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.healthmanagement.com/what-we-do/government-programs-uninsured/
Khazan, Olga. “The Difficulty of Getting an Abortion in Texas” The Atlantic.
2014. Retrieved from: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/the-difficulty-of-getting-an-abortion-in-texas/283045/
Satter, Marlene. “Texas Governor Signs Bill Limiting Abortion Coverage” Benefits and Pro. 2017. Retrieved from : https://www.benefitspro.com/2017/08/16/texas-governor-signs-bill-limiting-abortion-covera/?slreturn=20180313050639
The Daily Texan. “Federal judge rules Texas sonogram law violates free speech” 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.dailytexanonline.com/news/2011/08/31/federal-judge-rules-texas-sonogram-law-violates-free-speech
Ura, Alexa. “How Texas Curtailed Traditional Welfare without Ending Poverty”. The Texas Tribune. 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/11/30/how-texas-curtailed-traditional-welfare-without-ending-poverty/