Fiscal Notes: Uninsured Texans

In the recently released October edition of Fiscal Notes, the Comptroller’s office examines the issue of uninsured Texans, the economic consequences for the state, options available to those who have recently lost their insurance — and various policies that could extend health coverage to more of our most vulnerable citizens.

According to recently released U.S. Census data, the share of Texans without health insurance was 18.4 percent in 2019. And the job losses and economic turmoil brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the issue.

“One of the most painful effects of losing a job is the loss of employer-sponsored insurance, which offers health coverage for the majority of full-time U.S. workers,” said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. “In Texas, COVID-related losses have worsened a perennial problem in our state — a problem that is costing the state’s economy. The Texas Alliance for Health Care reports that Texas’ high rates of ‘uninsurance’ cost our state economy hundreds of billions of dollars.”

This edition of Fiscal Notes also takes a look at state funds held outside the state Treasury, called “local” funds. These funds are controlled directly by state agencies and institutions of higher education outside the Texas Legislature’s regular budgeting and appropriations process, a characteristic that sometimes has made them controversial during budget negotiations.

Fiscal Notes furthers the Comptroller’s constitutional responsibility to monitor the state’s economy and estimate state government revenues. It has been published since 1975, featuring in-depth analysis concerning state finances and original research by subject-matter experts in the Comptroller’s office.

For questions about how our agency functions are continuing during the outbreak, visit our COVID-19 News page or our Virtual Field OfficeFiscal Notes is available online and can be received by subscribing via the Comptroller’s website.