WATCH NOW: Health in Texas has the most to gain or lose in the 2020 Census

As EHF joins an regional effort to make sure every person is counted in the 2020 Census, CEO Elena Marks explains why health could be the sector most affected in Texas if federal funding declines due to an undercount.

The health sector in Texas has “the most to gain, and the most to lose” from the results of the 2020 Census, says EHF CEO Elena Marks.

Marks joined Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and other community leaders from across Greater Houston this month as they outlined the newly-appointed Complete Count Committee. The regional coordinated effort will focus on ensuring that every person is counted in the 2020 Census.

The Greater Houston region stands to lose billions in federal dollars for health, education, public safety, and other areas if people do not participate in the 2020 Census.

“But health has the most to lose if federal funding declines,” says Marks. “It’s all about the numbers.”

While federal funding makes up about one-third of the total budget in Texas, more than half (55%) of the budget related to health programs like Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and similar projects, comes from federal sources.

“There are millions of dollars at stake for health-related programs and the Census count determines that funding,” Marks says. “No sector is as dependent on those federal dollars.”

In addition, federal funding affects local health departments across the state. For example, the public health departments at the City of Houston and Harris County together receive almost $70 million each year from the federal government. 

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