What do Texans Want, and Not Want, Done With Health Care

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently completed a survey of thousands of Texas about what they think are the key challenges facing the state's medical services, and the results might surprise you, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Despite all the talk about the opioid crisis, dealing with painkiller abuse was way down the list.

The number one concern that Texans think should be addressed: reducing out-of-pocket medical costs.

Number two on the priority list is reducing Texas 'Third world level' rates of maternal deaths.

Lowering the costs of prescription drugs is the number three most pressing problem facing medicine in Texas. 

Right behind that is increasing access to health insurance, and increasing access to mental health services, which has become a key issue following recent school shootings.

The KFF reported that a majority of Texans don't know that Texas has the highest rates of uninsured people in the country, mainly illegal immigrants who are not eligible for insurance under Obamacare.

When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, even eight years after it was approved, Texans are still divided on the issue, with 48% of Texans supporting Obamacare, and 47% opposing it.

There is also strong support for expanding Medicaid, something the state's Republican government has declined to do.

Overall, seven in 10 (71%) Texans report a personal connection to someone covered by the Medicaid program – including those who have personally received Medicaid assistance (31%), have had a child covered (11%), or have a close friend or family member who has been covered (29%).

Only 44% said dealing with the opioid epidemic is a 'top priority,' placing it near the bottom of the list.

The only other issues that scored lower on the priority scale are improving access to hospitals for people in rural areas, improving women's access to contraception and family planning, and dead last with only 24% is decreasing state spending on health care.

GRAPHIC: KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION

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