UT Dallas researcher harnesses the power of the terahertz band to develop X-ray vision.
Periodic features on some of the innovative approaches and groundbreaking techniques being developed in the field of heath care by Texans and Texas-based institutions.
- UT Dallas researcher harnesses the power of the terahertz band to develop X-ray vision.
- New technique offers a less invasive means to combat a common form of heart disease.
- Texas Tech researchers use radar technology to track and fight cancerous tumors with new precision.
Medicaid is a jointly funded state-federal program that pays for health care services delivered primarily to low-income families and children, pregnant women, the elderly and persons with disabilities. In Texas, Medicaid is administered by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).
Medicaid is an “entitlement program,” in that neither the state nor the federal government can limit the number of persons who participate so long as they meet the eligibility requirements. In 2011, about 3.3 million Texans were enrolled in Medicaid. The state’s Medicaid population is expected to grow substantially over the next decade, to nearly 6 million, due in large part to federal health care reform legislation passed in March 2010 (Exhibit 1).
The growth in Texas’ health care costs is being driven by a number of factors, including:
- technological advances, in the form of newer, more effective – and more costly – products, services and drugs;
- the increasing share of costs borne by health insurance, which reduces consumer incentives to demand transparent and competitive pricing; and
- increased reliance on expensive specialists for medical treatment.
In March 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (HR 3590) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HR 4872) into law. This legislation will have far-reaching effects on the state’s budget as well as its citizens, its businesses and thus its economy.
Many details of how these new laws will reshape the world of health care remain unclear, but the Comptroller’s office has made some preliminary estimates of their impact:
- penalties to be paid by Texans who do not purchase insurance are estimated at $2.2 billion for fiscal 2010 through 2019.
- penalties to be paid by Texas businesses that do not offer adequate coverage are estimated at $9.3 billion for fiscal 2010 through 2019.
- In 2009, two-thirds (66.7 percent) of all adult Texans were overweight or obese. Only 33.1 percent of adult Texans were of a normal weight. The prevalence of obesity among Texas adults more than doubled in the last two decades, from 12.3 percent in 1990 to 29.5 percent in 2009.
- Texas children are more likely to be obese than the national average, at 20.4 percent versus 16.4 percent. Obese kids have an 80 percent chance of staying that way their entire lives.
- The Comptroller’s office estimates that obesity cost Texas businesses $9.5 billion in 2009, due to the impact of employee insurance costs, absenteeism, disability and reduced efficiency while at work. This cost could rise to $32.5 billion annually by 2030, if current trends continue.
A conversation with Kathleen Quiroz.
The Texas Economy team recently spoke with CPRIT officials to learn what progress has been made in the fight against cancer.
New Comptroller survey finds widespread opposition to health care reform among Texas businesses.
One of the biggest drivers of state and federal spending in Texas is the spiraling cost of health care services.