FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Margarita Hernandez arrived at the Southeast Community Health Center with two of her boys, ages 3 and 2, in tow. She needs the clinic’s services because she cannot afford health insurance,
“With the economy, I can’t afford it,” Hernandez said. “It’s too expensive with the budget I have.”
And Hernandez said she knows others in the same position.
“Oh! A lot!” Hernandez exclaimed. “Basically, all of my family is the same way. They don’t have insurance.”
Hernandez’s boys are covered by Medicaid. They would have no other coverage without it. Her situation is similar to those of millions of other Texans.
According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, twenty-five percent of Texans are uninsured — and the vast majority are U.S. citizens of working age.
Working age adults are twice as likely to be uninsured as children.
And nine percent fewer employed people are able to get insurance through their job than a decade ago.
There is debate over whether universal health care coverage would be an effective cure for the medical care system as a whole.
As the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue of federally mandated insurance, many argue the majority of Americans could be harmed by a national insurance plan.
“To people with insurance who are 80 to 85 percent of Americans this bill has virtually nothing for them,” said Tom Marshall, a UTA political science professor. “It’s going to raise their bill. It’s going to reduce their ability to see their doctor. This bill cuts both ways. It’s a complicated, massive bill.”
The only thing Hernandez knows for certain is she and her children cannot afford any serious medical problems.
“If my kids would get sick or even myself I couldn’t go to the hospital,” Hernandez said. ”I couldn’t afford it. And the kids would need me. It is really scary.”