The Children's Defense Fund recently published very useful information about the status of children's health here in the Lone Star state.
I wonder if you knew that. . .
Texas has the highest rate of uninsured children in the nation, with 21.6% or 1.4 million children lacking coverage. Almost 90% of these children have at least one working parent, but health coverage is too expensive for the families to afford. According the the Texas Department of Insurance the average premium for family coverage is $933 per month.
Texas has the highest rate of uninsured full-time workers in the nation, with 25.1% lacking health coverage, compared to the national average of 15%.Over 700,000 Texas children are eligible for, but not enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid.
For every $1 invested by the state in CHIP , Texas receives $2.63 in federal matching funds. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison reports that by not fully funding CHIP the state has lost more than $700 million in federal funds paid in taxes to Washington for this purpose. The state's failure to draw these funds back to Texas means that dollars meant for Texas are now at work caring for children in New York, Oregon, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and any number of other states. Bright, huh?
As a result of cuts approved by the Texas Legislature, CHIP enrollment has dropped by 215,729 children since the cuts took effect on September 1, 2003.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation's latest report on Medicaid, spending for this health benefit for low-income Americans declined in 2006 for the fourth consecutive year.
I think we ought to be doing better than this.
What do you think?