AUSTIN (March 8, 2013)—At 28.8 percent Texas has the highest percentage of people without health insurance ever recorded, according to a new Gallup poll released Friday, one after the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 24.4 percent of Texans lacked health insurance in 2011, which was also the highest in the nation.
The release of the Gallup data covering 2012 came as lawmakers continued to debate whether to expand Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled.
Republicans who control the Texas Legislature have rejected a federal offer under the Affordable Care Act of $100 billion in return for the state paying $15 billion over the next 10 years and Gov. Rick Perry has demanded permission from Washington for the state to develop its own plan for reducing the percentage of uninsured.
The percentage of uninsured in Texas is 4.8 percent higher than the Louisiana, the state with the second-highest rate of uninsured residents at 24.0 percent.
Massachusetts has the lowest rate of uninsured residents at 4.5 percent.
Nationally, an average of 16.9 percent of adults were uninsured in 2012.
“The high uninsured rates in Texas and other states, including California and Florida, are likely related, at least in part, to the large Hispanic populations in those states, a demographic group that Gallup finds has the highest uninsured rate in the country, at 40.1% in 2012,” a Gallup press release says.