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Rep.Rodriguez, Eddie

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Rep. Rodriguez puts kids first --- Votes to Expand Children's Health Insurance Program  print page

by: Rep. Rodriguez, Eddie
04/03/2007

Austin, Texas// Today, Representative Rodriguez voted to expand the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to add thousands of children.

The passage of HB 109 restores the twelve months of continuous coverage, increases the allowable family assets, and eliminates the 90 day wait period for health coverage which was an additional barrier to enrollment. In 2003, to save money, the Legislature made policy changes, such as complicated enrollment, narrowed eligibility, and decreased benefits, so CHIP would cover fewer children and provide less care. Since that time, CHIP enrollment has been dropping every month.

“Making more children eligible for CHIP is not only socially responsible but is also fiscally responsible," said Rodriguez. "Texas children who do not have health insurance are currently being served at our emergency rooms at the expense of taxpayers."

A nationally-recognized economist has calculated that for every $1 in state funds cut in CHIP and Medicaid, Texas' businesses pay out-of-pocket increases in taxes and insurance, and each Texan's health insurance premiums increase by $1.34. Additionally, statistic show that uninsured children are 25 percent more likely to miss school, and Texas school districts lose $4 million per day in state funding because of absenteeism. Reducing the number of uninsured kids helps control our local school taxes.

“If we continue to ignore the health care of Texas children, then we run the risk of failing an entire generation of Texas kids,” said Rodriguez. "Texas is in the disturbing position of leading the nation with 1.4 million children who do not have health insurance."

“Our goal should be to provide quality affordable health care for our children,” said Rodriguez. "It is clear that making more children eligible for health insurance is the right investment for today and will reap a better tomorrow."

Rodriguez noted, "while we made progress, I'm disappointed by the House's failure to adopt an offered amendment to fully restore CHIP, thereby adding over 200,000 kids back into the program. It's heartbreaking to deny any eligible child access to health insurance."


For Additional Information Contact:
Gerardo Castillo
Chief of Staff
(512) 463-0674

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