Horns Up, Horns Down for April 17


Horns Up: Texas' uninsured rate dips slightly 

The percentage of uninsured adults aged 18 to 64 in Texas dropped slightly from 24.8 percent in September 2013 to 23.5 percent in March 2014, according to a report released by the Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation. Though the change resulted from an increase in employer-sponsored health care and not from new sign-ups in the federal marketplace, we see the uptick as positive news. More than 5 million adults in our state lack insurance, according to the Baker Institute. Even a 1 percentage-point decrease in that amount deserves attention. The report also projected that 746,000 Texans had signed up for insurance on the exchange, which is certainly a good start considering Texas has consistently had the highest percent of uninsured residents among the 50 states for several years, and the insurance exchanges in Texas have only recently been rolled out.

Horns Down: Officer uses Taser on high school student

An officer who had been called to break up a fight between students at Stony Point High School in Round Rock on Monday used a Taser on a 16-year-old boy during lunchtime. Though the boy was not badly injured, he was taken to the hospital to have the Taser probes removed. If the use of a Taser on a minor wasn’t upsetting enough, the child who was tased actually did not take part in the fight — rather, he was trying to restrain one of the students who was taking part. This is the second instance of a high school student being tased this year, and although this instance didn’t result in a death like the previous one, there is no excuse for the use of a Taser in either situation. As we said in an editorial earlier this year, there is simply no logical reason why school resource officers should carry and use weapons as forceful as Tasers on children in Texas schools. The sooner our police realize this, the better it will be for all Texans.