Actions to consider:
Since this session of the Texas Legislature began, limited progress has been made in restoring funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). At the same time, Medicaid is significantly underfunded.
Please call or fax your state senator and say,
"Please do all you can to restore the cuts made to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Support Senate Bill 59 offered by Senator Averritt which fully restores CHIP. More than 18,000 Dallas area children have lost CHIP coverage since the cuts took effect in September 2003. This is intolerable for Texas and its hard working families.
"Funding for Medicaid is critical since it covers more than 2 million Texas children and is the primary source of revenue for the state's children's hospitals. Legislation this session must reflect realistic child population growth and needs, using realistic growth estimates.
"Restore what was taken away by the 2003 cuts to provider rates for outpatient services and Graduate Medical Education (GME). Increase the Medicaid physician rates to encourage more doctors to participate as Medicaid providers.
"Thank you for including funds for CHIP dental and vision services in the current proposed state budget. Please take the next step and fully restore funds for CHIP and the children of Texas. Without your action today, the proposed state budget will reduce CHIP caseload to below current levels in 2006 and further shift the cost of healthcare to local communities already falling behind the health care needs across the state.
"Be prepared to join your fellow Senators on the Finance Committee who voted to place a 12-month eligibility policy for CHIP on the Senate's "wish list" for funding this year. Restore the 12-month eligibility process to CHIP making it more user friendly for parents. "
Never doubt it for a moment, your voice and action make a huge difference. Act today.