Now that Ebola is through the door what do Texans really have to fear?

A cartoon that appeared this week in the Sacramento Bee says it all. There is in fact a health epidemic an in America and it was not imported from Liberia. It is brought on by the dietary choices we make in America along with resistance to exercise, addiction to sugar, smoking, alcohol and a refusal to rehabilitate the healthcare system.

Courtesy The Sacramento Bee

Courtesy The Sacramento Bee

With all eyes upon Texas,  perhaps the most to be concerned about is that Texas leads the U.S. in people without health insurance. According to the Texas Medical Association, 32 percent of the residents of that state has no health insurance. That’s roughly a third!

Texas lawmakers rejected almost a billion dollars in federal Medicaid expansion aid. The Medicaid expansion presented an opportunity for Texas to bring in new federal dollars, in addition to providing critical health coverage for their low-income residents and people with special needs. No state that declined participation in the program was going to be fiscally better off because of it. Their residents and health care system infrastructures are certain to suffer.

This is the real kicker– tax dollars collected from Texas residents will be used to support a federal program from which nobody in that state will benefit. In a letter to Health and Human Services declining participation in the heath exchange program, Texas Governor Rick Perry said the law is federal overreach and opposes the rules it places on states to make sure nearly all Americans have health-care coverage. 

Texas appears to be welcoming to infectious diseases. It has made it easy for parents to opt-out of vaccinating their children, so it leads in measles, pertussis and influenza.

Now, I love Texas. I have lived there for four years and it was a beautiful experience. The people are great, it was a wonderful place to raise my only daughter. But what is confounding is why the politics of medicine and medical care in that state is more toxic than the diseases that could easily be prevented.

Now that that it is clear how much it would cost to fight an Ebola outbreak in his state, I’m hoping Governor Perry and his Republican run state house are rethinking their position and will ask for federal dollars to help this medically disenfranchised state.

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