September 6, 2011; Source: National Journal | According to the Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index, the health insurance coverage pictures in Texas and Massachusetts are polar opposites. Massachusetts boasts the highest percentage of insured population while Texas residents are least likely to have health insurance. More than 27 percent of Texans appear to be uninsured, compared to 5.3 percent in Massachusetts. The National Journal says that this may reflect the radically different approaches of the two governors seen to be responsible for the different outcomes: former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and current Texas Governor Rick Perry.
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Of course, Romney is still attempting to distance himself from his own record in the Bay State. Perry meanwhile is adhering to a “stand-on-your-own-two-feet” approach in Texas that appears to result in fewer employers offering health insurance. Only 50 percent of businesses in Texas offer health insurance, as compared to the 59-percent national average. Texas spends about 20 percent less on health care per capita than Massachusetts, though its infant mortality rate is 20 percent higher.—Ruth McCambridge