Adopt universal health coverage for all Texans. Here’s how: Expand enrollment in existing programs, including Medicaid, SCHIP, the state’s high-risk pool, the state employees’ health plan, and private health insurance, and develop new programs such as TexHealth’s 3-share products. Require community rating for private health insurance plans. Mandate participation by all Texans in some program and provide a state-supported sliding-scale subsidy for low-income Texans to buy into a program, paid for by a statewide special-purpose tax. We can, and must, ensure that all Texans have timely access to basic health care in an appropriate, cost-effective setting.

Marks is the director of Health and Environmental Policy for the City of Houston.

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