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Many Texans struggling to pay for health service as Affordable Care Act is about to launch
Date:2/19/2014

HOUSTON (Feb. 19, 2014) Many Texans were struggling to pay for basic health services on the eve of the launch of the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplace, according to a report released today by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation. The report also found that even those with health insurance reported dissatisfaction with the cost and availability of services. Most Texans expect more of the same in 2014.

The Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS)-Texas report is based on the HRMS, a national project that provides timely information on implementation issues under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and changes in health insurance coverage and related health outcomes. The Baker Institute and the newly formed Episcopal Health Foundation are partnering to fund and report on key factors about Texans obtained from an expanded representative sample of 1,595 Texas residents.

"The Affordable Care Act is the most ambitious and most expensive federal health care program since the creation of Medicare in 1965," said Vivian Ho, the chair in health economics at Rice's Baker Institute, a professor of economics at Rice and a professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. "Given its cost, it is imperative that we track its effects on both uninsured and insured Texans. Our initial results indicate that a significant portion of Texans need help with finding more affordable health care and insurance coverage. Going forward, the HRMS-Texas will allow us to see whether or not the ACA truly succeeds in making Texans better off."

Ho co-authored the study with Elena Marks, the president and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation and a health policy scholar at the Baker Institute, and Patricia Bray, director of the Episcopal Health Foundation's research program and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Texas School of Public Health's Fleming Center for Healthcare Management.

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Contact: Jeff Falk
jfalk@rice.edu
713-348-6775
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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