June 28, 2012
Central Health improves the health of the entire Central Texas community by creating access to healthcare services for eligible residents who lack even the most essential care. Almost one-quarter of all Texans live without any health coverage. In Travis County the uninsured rate is 21 percent, or approximately 211,000 individuals. Texas also has a disproportionately high number of small business employees who do not have health insurance provided by their employer. The Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act creates an opportunity to improve the quality of life for thousands of Central Texans by providing them expanded access to health care.
We recognize the Affordable Care Act will not solve every problem we face, however we do support the goal of the Act to expand healthcare coverage for millions of Americans, and potentially thousands of Central Texans.
Although the ACA was upheld and helps us in our efforts to create access to health care for those who need it most, it is not a cure-all for what ails our fragmented healthcare system here in Central Texas. Even with the potential for greatly expanded coverage, we still face an ever-increasing shortage of healthcare providers. By 2016 it is estimated Central Texas will be short almost 800 physicians – a situation that will affect everyone regardless of expanded coverage.
Because of this, we are actively involved with Senator Watson’s "10 Goals in 10 Years" initiative that will increase the opportunity to grow our provider community. We are working with a variety of community partners on these transformative healthcare infrastructure upgrades, which are necessary for our community's health regardless of national healthcare reform. Central Health’s role will remain essential to our community as we work to bridge these gaps.
In the event that state lawmakers choose to not expand Medicaid coverage to additional eligible residents, we must be prepared at the local level to continue providing access to care for the un- and underinsured population of Central Texas, as we have always done. To that end, we are working with numerous community partners to create innovative models of care that are accountable for meeting our unique local needs.
We remain dedicated to improving the healthcare delivery system in Travis County until all of its residents get the care they need, when they need it.