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Budget Projections for Health Care Bill Indicate Trouble for Houston

HOUSTON – Legacy Community Health, the state’s largest community health center, warned of the potential for massive losses in insurance coverage under the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said today that 14 million people could become uninsured next year, with 24 million by 2026, if the AHCA became law.

“Based on these numbers, the new health care proposal, as is, would hit Houston hard,” said Katy Caldwell, CEO of Legacy Community Health. “Harris County already has the highest number of uninsured in Texas, and the AHCA would likely make this bad situation even worse. The danger is more people without insurance would either not see a doctor – bad for public health – or flood into costly emergency rooms, increasing costs for all of us. It’s an understatement to say this is not a fiscally responsible approach to health care delivery.”

Harris County is home to 740,000 uninsured people. Texas leads the nation with about four million without health insurance. The AHCA freezes Medicaid spending for the most vulnerable, including pregnant women, children, and the disabled.

Legacy Community Health is a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center that provides comprehensive care to over 125,000 patients regardless of their ability to pay. The agency, a United Way of Greater Houston agency, provides adult primary care, pediatrics, OB/GYN and maternity, behavioral health, HIV/AIDS care, dental and vision.