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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in TX face health disparities

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Tuesday, June 18, 2024   

Almost half of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who live in Texas are skipping routine healthcare because of cost, according to a survey by Episcopal Health Foundation.

The report focuses on the overall health experiences of AAPI Texans and found that high medical bills, lack of affordable housing and reliable transportation have a negative impact on their lives.

Brian Sasser, chief communications officer for Episcopal Health Foundation, said non-medical factors can put a person's health at risk.

"Not being able to get reliable, affordable transportation to go to a doctor's visit, to go to a check-up, to get a test done, to get a prescription filled," Sasser explained. "You can't go to the grocery store to get health food so you may go to the closest convenience store, and if you can't get to a park or somewhere to exercise, you don't exercise."

One in five of those surveyed say when they receive medical treatment, they struggle to pay the bills.

More than 1.8 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders live in Texas. The population of Asian Americans in the Lone Star State has grown at a faster rate than any other group over the past 20 years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas counties with the highest numbers of AAPI residents are Collin, Denton, Fort Bend, Travis and Williamson.

Sasser said because of the continued population growth, future surveys will focus on the community. Their survey answers mirror those of other races and ethnic groups.

"No matter which Texans we talk with, no matter where they live in Texas, non-medical factors do make an impact. And I think what is most important is under-resourced neighborhoods hit all populations and those under-resourced neighborhoods not only have an effect on someone's life, but also their health," he explained.

More than half (55%) of those polled say the state isn't doing enough to make sure low-income adults get the health care they need, and over half say Texas should expand Medicaid to cover more low-income residents, specifically children, pregnant women and immigrants.

Disclosure: Episcopal Health Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Mental Health, Philanthropy, Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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