Texas' Poor Adults Will Benefit From Health Care Reform
Updated: Monday, July 2 2012, 05:36 PM CDT
The Affordable Care Act makes it mandatory for people to have health insurance. If they don’t, they’ll have to pay a tax.
Rachel Quinn is a mother of four and a home healthcare worker who cares for the elderly, but she can’t afford health insurance.
Quinn came to a Community Health Care Clinic in Austin in hopes of getting help. “(I’m) tryin to apply for the map and other benefits, but they sayin’ that I’m over, I’m making too much over,” she says.
She works full time, so she doesn’t qualify for Medicaid, but she’s hoping that will change with the Affordable Care Act. “We do need insurance and for a person like me, I’m very ill, just got out of the hospital but not able to get my prescriptions or anything because I don’t have Medicaid or any other type of insurance.”
Starting in 2014 virtually all Americans will have to obtain health insurance or pay a tax.
But there will be new opportunities to get insurance, including state based insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid.
In Texas, Medicaid mostly covers children. Under the federal health reform, the program will expand to cover many poor adults.
David Vliet is the CEO for the Community Care Clinics in Austin, and he says his clinics have been serving people who are underinsured or don’t have insurance for 40 years. “Our mission is to provide expanded access, so naturally we feel like it’s a good thing for folks to have more access to care.”
He says if Medicare is expanded people like Rachel Quinn may get healthcare. “I’m praying that it does work out, not just for me but for everybody,” he says.