NPR reports it as a Texas problem but Obamacare shortages are not limited to any one state in the nation.
The way this story is framed, one could easily think, if you didn’t listen carefully and thoughtfully, that Obamacare shortages are limited to Texas.
People in Texas are significantly more likely than adults nationwide to report that it has gotten harder to see a doctor in the past two years.
The “significant” difference is 3 percent according to data contained in the text version of the story. They only compare the national average to the Texan average. A more informative article would tell us how Texas polling compares to the next ten worst states. If a bunch of states are almost as bad as Texas, that would mean that Texas is not so unique. We don’t know.
It is interesting that the story says that this 3-percent difference is significant (15 percent nationally to 18 percent in Texas), yet they claim “Almost 1 in 5 people in Texas says it’s gotten harder to see a doctor in the past two years according to the NPR poll.” So 3 percent is “significant” but adding another 2 percent (with an “almost”) is an accurate statistic?
Also, they try to make something of the fact that Texas did not go along with Medicaid expansion. But that is a diversion. In the midst of the complaint about Medicaid the story admits that everyone is facing difficulty. “It didn’t matter what kind of insurance they had.” So Medicaid recipients are having the same problems as those with gold, silver, and bronze plans.
I guess NPR should be glad that everyone in Texas is “equal.”
So NPR has taken a national story about how insurance networks are inadequate and Obamacare is causing shortages, and found a way to justify making it a story about Texas and its refusal to expand Medicaid.
See this article by Megan McArdle from November of last year where she points to “the ongoing saga of higher premiums, higher deductibles and smaller provider networks that have been coming out since open enrollment began.” This is a national phenomenon, not a local problem in any one state.
Pinning the damage done to healthcare by a federal program on a red state is rather brilliant as government propaganda. But it is far from the truth.