New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that Hispanic working men in South Texas are the least likely to have health coverage.
Texas is still has the highest percentage of people without health coverage – an estimated 25% of the population in the whole state are uninsured.
Massachusetts boasts the lowest rate of people without health coverage, with only 4.9 percent of the population uninsured.
Nearly 40 percent of the population in Hidalgo County, Texas, do not have health insurance – one of the highest rates in the country.
Hispanic men are the most likely not to have health insurance coverage in the USA, particularly those living in the state of Texas. 67.4 percent of Hispanic men living in Texas who earn less than $23,000 don’t have health insurance – a total of nearly 950,000 people.
The Affordable Care Act requires that 320,000 of those men buy health insurance – which will be subsidized.
However, Gov. Rick Perry rejected a federal plan to expand Medicaid – which would include people in the lower income bracket. This means that 630,000 men will not be able to buy the subsidized insurance because they do not earn enough.
Texas Medicaid is mainly for children and the elderly, but it excludes many working adults.
The uninsured rate for Caucasian males who are in the same income bracket is only 42 percent, while the rate for African Americans is 47 percent.
Eddie Olivarez, chief administrative officer of Hidalgo County’s Health and Human Services department, said the reason why so many South Texas counties have such high uninsured rates is because of the proximity to the border, and the transition from an agriculture-based economy to a service-oriented one – with jobs that do not offer healthcare coverage.
Hidalgo County is one of many in the state asking for an expansion of Medicaid to include low-paid workers. However, many Republican leaders are opposed to the idea.
Perry spokesman, Josh Havens, said:
“Texas measures its health care success by the options that are provided for coverage, and the efforts to create ones that are affordable. Medicaid is a broken system, and we think it would be irresponsible to expand a program that is unsustainable.”