CPPP Statement on HHSC's New Strategy for Enrollment in Public Benefits

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December 21, 2006

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Austin, TX—Today, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced a new strategy for enrolling needy Texans in public benefits, including Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP), Food Stamps, and temporary cash assistance (TANF). Over four million low-income Texans rely on these services to meet their basic needs. F. Scott McCown, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, said: “We applaud this new strategy. HHSC is moving in the right direction. Commissioner Hawkins and his team worked hard to learn from the pilot and make needed changes. We are particularly encouraged that HHSC will increase the number of permanent state staff and resume the integrated-eligibility pilot only when the necessary technology is in place. Still, the workload is growing, and the legislature needs to add more state staff.”