CPPP Expresses Disappointment with House Failure to Vote on CHIP; Thanks All Who Supported CHIP

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June 1, 2009

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Austin, Texas--The Center for Public Policy Priorities today expressed disappointment with the Texas House of Representatives’ failure to vote on the Conference Committee Report for SB 2080, legislation that would have made more uninsured children eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Senate adopted the CCR for SB 2080 on Sunday night, but the House adjourned on Sunday without considering the legislation and refused to consider it today before adjournment.

"Today, the House ignored the will of the majority of Texans who wanted their state officials to do something about the growing number of uninsured children. Had this legislation passed, an estimated 80,000 more Texas children would have had access to health insurance so they could see a doctor when needed. We regret the House’s failure to act. We will work to pass similar legislation in 2011," CPPP Associate Director Anne Dunkelberg said.

"We want to thank Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, Senator Kip Averitt, Representative Garnet Coleman, Senator Carlos Uresti, Representative Ruth Jones McClendon, and many others in the legislature who worked to give the CHIP bill an up-or-down vote. We also thank the broad coalition of advocates and faith and business leaders who worked with the Texas CHIP Coalition and the Texas Finish Line Campaign to pass the CHIP bill, and we applaud them for fighting for Texas children. Unfortunately, this incredible, statewide, bipartisan show of support could not overcome politics," Dunkelberg added.

Public opinion research shows that the vast majority of Texans support helping children get affordable, comprehensive health insurance. Polling data from 2009 published by the Texas Hospital Association demonstrates that registered Texas voters considered making health insurance more affordable and accessible as the most important issue state leaders can address. Seventy-seven percent said that the Texas Legislature should make health care a priority. CPPP will continue to support such a policy.

The Center for Public Policy Priorities is a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute dedicated to improving public policies to better the social and economic conditions of low- and moderate-income Texans. You can learn more about CPPP at http://www.cppp.org.