Rep. Green Highlights Flaws in National Health Care System
May 11, 2004
Houston, TX - This morning, Congressman Gene Green (D-Houston) spoke to a group of health care providers at Christus St. Joseph Hospital. After praising St. Josephs historic commitment to health care, Rep. Green delivered a speech in recognition of National Cover the Uninsured Week. Excerpts from Greens speech are as follows:
We all know that Houston is home to a world-class Medical Center. Some of the most innovative and lifesaving research and treatment developments are being discovered in our own backyard. The problem is that too many of our neighbors cant access these lifesaving treatments because they lack health insurance.
Our State of Texas ranked number one in uninsured adults, with 31.2 percent of adult Texans living without health insurance. This is a problem for all Americans, as the uninsured often use the emergency room as their primary source of health care. This increases health care costs for all Americans. The uninsured and underinsured are generally more expensive to treat because they fall through the cracks in our health care system.
With health care costs reaching $9000 per employee per year, many small businesses are finding that they simply cant afford to purchase health insurance for their employees. Therefore, it is little surprise that today most of the uninsured Americans are gainfully employed. And
unfortunately, our state also ranks number one in the percentage of uninsured working adults, with 27 percent of working Texans currently without health insurance.
Texas currently has the widest gap in health coverage for low-income parents and children. While 70 percent of Texas low-income children have access to Medicaid or CHIP, only 38 percent of their parents have access to health care. I have long supported efforts to expand health insurance coverage to the parents of children enrolled in Medicaid and the CHIP program, and this week we are introducing legislation that would do just that.