Monday, March 19, 2007

Action item: CHIP and the Texas Legislature

Last week the the House Health and Human Services Committee of the Texas House of Representatives approved CSHB109 and passed it along to the full house for a vote. The proposed legislation aims to reform Texas' Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). On the Texas Senate side basically the same provisions will be put forward in Senate Bill 81.

The bill includes a list of improvements that will help provide medical coverage to the children of low-income, working families across the state.

It eliminates the current 90-day wait period for uninsured children who are eligible. It restores the annual (12 month) certification requirement so that parents no longer have to go through the process twice annually. The proposed bill also raises the allowed "wealth" of a family to $10,000 liquid assets, plus reasonable values for up to two automobiles. The legislation also allows for the calculation of net income after deductions for child care and some work related expenses, as well as child support costs.

The proposed plan also adds an estimated $59.1 million in state revenue to the CHIP budget, while increasing the federal match as a result of the state's increased commitment to improving health care for children in Texas.

The bill will also restore funding for outreach so that the coverage can be more adequately marketed across the state.

Action: contact your Representative in the Texas House now and urge support for CSHB109. Contact your State Senator now and urge support of SB81.

If you don't know who your House and Senate members are, visit and


Anonymous said...

Finally! The U.S. is one of the only developed countries without some type of universal health care in the first place. This bill's progress shows that we are ready to take steps that provided much needed aid to lower income families. If it passes this bill can eliminate so much hassle, stress and worry for millions of parents and finally help children who are in great need.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that this new bill will make health care easier to get for children of working low income families. Health care is a big issue with low income families and many children in Texas and the rest of the nation have been withut it for a long time. A huge burden will be lift from working families if they know that health care will cost less time and money. I'm also glad to see that the bill is making it to where more people will qualify for CHIP. So many times welfare programs are set in place that make it seemingly impossible to qulify for. It is nice to seesome legeslation that is moving in the other direction. Not that this bill by any means will solve the problem, but it will give some much needed relief to some very deserving people.

Anonymous said...

We always hear talk from the politicians that they will do this or do that to better the education of our nations children, or to help out the less privilegded to live a better life, etc. Finally we see some action! For once, our government is actually setting forth to do some of the good that is seemingly always promised but never fulfilled for the American people. Let us hope that CHIP's progress is only the first of many steps to come in the future.

Anonymous said...

It's about time the government starts taking steps toward better health care. Millions of children go each year without health care because their parents do not make the cut and because of this they suffer. Hopefully the government will stick to their plans to make CHIP better and able to reach more families. The government needs to see this step as an influence upon the rest of the country, not just Texas has children with out health care. I see this as a step toward a brighter, healthier future.