Broad Coalition Presses Leaders in House and Senate to 'Act Swiftly and Forcefully to Pass CHIP Bill'
May 26, 2009
Austin, Texasâ€"Several statewide organizations (listed below) today released the following joint statement on the legislative process regarding SB 841 and HB 2962--strong, similar Childrenâ€™s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) bills which passed their originating chambers of the state legislature with bipartisan sponsorship and support. Each of these bills, currently delayed in the legislative process, would allow more families without meaningful access to private health insurance coverage to insure their children by paying monthly family-income-based CHIP premiums.
â€śWe are counting on leadership from Lt. Governor Dewhurst and Speaker Straus to ensure that either SB 841 or HB 2962 passes both chambers and becomes law. The House and Senate each overwhelmingly passed strong, similar childrenâ€™s health coverage bills, but battles around other issues now threaten to kill this legislation and keep roughly 80,000 children from seeing a doctor. With the clock running out on this legislative session, our state leaders must not hold children hostage to politics.
â€śThe Texas Senate can move this legislation forward regardless of House action today, and the Lt. Governor has often stated his support for childrenâ€™s health coverage. The House also has multiple options to move CHIP. We urge Senate and House leaders to act swiftly and forcefully to ensure CHIP legislation passes.
â€śThis isnâ€™t about political parties and their priorities. It is about the priority shared by an overwhelming majority of Texas families and business leaders on both sides of the aisle: covering uninsured children. We need legislators on both sides of the aisle to put partisan differences aside and do whatâ€™s right for Texas kids and families, and for Texasâ€™ economy.â€ť
The following organizations released the preceding statement [press contacts in brackets]:
- AARP [Rafael Ayuso, 512.480.2432]
- Advocacy, Incorporated [Jeff Miller, 512.454.4816]
- Any Baby Can
- Center for Public Policy Priorities [Derrick Crowe, 512.320.0222 x 112]
- Childrenâ€™s Defense Fundâ€”Texas [Anat Kelman Shaw, 713.664.4080]
- Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas
- Coalition for Nurses in Advanced Practice (CNAP) [Lynda Woolbert, 512.750.3747]
- Community First Health Plans [Karen Glenney, 210.358.6142]
- DePelchin Children's Center [Conni Barker, 713.201.8895]
- Greater Houston Partnership
- Harris County Hospital District [R. King Hillier, 281.382.9621]
- La Fe Policy Research and Education Center
- League of Women Voters of Texas [Raul Salazar, 512.472.1100]
- March of Dimes [Morgan Sanders, 512.477.3221]
- Mental Health America of Greater Dallas [Janie Metzinger, 214.871.2420 x 114]
- Methodist Healthcare Ministries [Miryam Bujanda, 210.378.2389]
- National Council of Jewish Women, Texas State Public Affairs
- One Voice [Laurie Glaze, 713.333.2232]
- San Antonio Nonprofit Council [Scott McAninch, 210.825.3252]
- Seton Family of Hospitals
- Superior HealthPlan Inc.
- Tarrant County CHIP Coalition
- Teaching Hospitals of Texas [Chris Yanas, 512.476.1497]
- Texas ACORN [Catherine Blue, 512.653.9414]
- Texas Association of Community Health Centers [Jose E. Camacho, 512.329.5959]
- Texas Association of Health Plans
- Texans Care for Children [Christine Sinatra, 512.473.2274]
- Texas Catholic Conference
- Texas Childrenâ€™s Hospital [Elizabeth Hipp, 832.824.2108]
- Texas Finish Line Campaign [Derrick Crowe, 512.320.0222 x 112]
- Texas Hospital Association [Amanda Engler, 512.465.1026]
- Texas Medical Association [Pam Udall or Brent Annear, 512.370.1300]
- Texas Impact [Bee Moorhead, 512.636.3135]
- United Ways of Texas