This op/ed was published in the Austin American-Statesman on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015.
Imagine supporting a family of three on $1,000 a month. What sacrifices would you need to make to survive? How would you pay medical bills if you became sick? Would it be possible to support yourself and loved ones without assistance?
There is a common misconception that government-sponsored programs such as Medicaid health care coverage automatically protect those in poverty. In Texas, Medicaid is primarily limited to children and pregnant women in low-income households. Parents may qualify, but only if their household income is no more than 15 percent of the federal poverty level (equal to $251 per month for a family of three). Medicaid is unavailable in Texas to adults without children.
Central Health oversees programs for health care services for Travis County’s poor, uninsured and underinsured residents.