With the exception of Alaska, Texas is the largest state in the Union and has a population of over 25 million. Texas also has the highest number of uninsured residents in the entire United States with over a fourth, or 6 million, of its residents lacking healthcare insurance.
Houston has the dubious distinction of having some of the world's best hospitals, but also possessing one of the lowest rates of adequate healthcare insurance for adults in the United States. Despite its deplorable record of providing the least adequate healthcare for its residents, Texas is among the top five most religious states in the country. With its high Christian count, it could be expected that the state healthcare record would be just the opposite.
One reason for inadequate healthcare insurance comes directly from the state's governor, and failed Presidential candidate, Rick Perry. Almost 3.5 million Texans will finally get healthcare coverage under the Affordable Healthcare Act, but a million more could have received it if Perry had agreed to the law's expansion of Medicaid.
Interestingly, the majority of states with the highest number of uninsured are in the South and the so-called "Red States." With that in mind, these states also are among the most religious in the country possessing nine of the top ten. Again, caring for the sick would seem a top priority, considering the legacy of Christianity.
On a personal note, I live in Texas and was laid off in 2010, three months after I was diagnosed with cancer. I only mention this to speak of healthcare. My insurance lasted six months after my last day. After that, I had to resort to COBRA insurance with its whopping monthly premiums, which I considered ridiculous for a man without a job through no fault of my own. Fortunately, I could afford the obscene premiums, but what of those not as fortunate as me?
What is the problem? Why are so many uninsured at a time when affordable healthcare is available to nearly everyone? One answer is politics. The denial of adequate healthcare insurance for those least able to afford it, I s criminal, especially when it is based on politics rather than meeting the people's needs.
However, as much as most Americans would hate to admit it, a significant portion comes from racism. From the day of President Obama's election, he has been called a monkey, openly called a liar, his wife and children insulted and more. He has the largest personal security guard of any President in the history of the United States.
Of the globe's "first world" countries, the United States ranks the lowest of any nation in providing healthcare for all of its citizens. That is a shame, deplorable and for many, a human rights violation.
Will the United States ever live up to its stated mission? Or, will it continue with a house divided where one percent out-values the lives of the other 99 percent?
Only time will tell.