June 24, 2009 Dear Governor Perry: With your confirmation that you will call a Special Session of the Texas Legislature, Texas has the opportunity to finish a critical piece of unfinished state business: providing more Texas children access to health care. Going into the regular session, 1.5 million Texas children lacked health insurance. If state leaders fail to act during the special session, nearly all of those kids will likely remain uninsured. Concerned legislators on both sides of the aisle partnered with child advocates and business, faith and medical leaders throughout the regular session to try to deliver real wins for children’s health. They advanced a common-sense plan to cut the red tape that currently blocks hundreds of thousands of Texas’ poorest children from the Medicaid coverage for which they qualify. They also advanced a CHIP plan to create options for the growing number of hard-working families who lack affordable, employer-sponsored coverage for their children. That plan, to allow families to pay premiums on a sliding scale so their children can buy-in to CHIP coverage, passed both chambers with strong bipartisan majorities in the Legislature, but was prevented from reaching your desk because legislative leaders failed to rescue the bill from last-minute procedural gridlock. The CHIP bill can pass immediately if you allow legislators to address this top priority of families, business and faith leaders, and the medical community. With so many Texas children still unable to see a primary care doctor, it’s critical that you respond to the will of the majority of Texans—as demonstrated by polling data and the thousands of constituent calls recently placed to Texas leaders—and take a step forward to cover more of Texas’ 1.5 million uninsured children. Despite a great deal of effort on the part of children’s advocates inside and outside the legislature, and despite broad bipartisan support for improving access to children’s health care, the legislature adjourned without addressing the pressing health coverage needs of Texas children. You and other state leaders have a critical and final opportunity to make health care more affordable for 80,000 Texas children. Do not let this opportunity pass us by. We urge you to add the CHIP buy-in bill to the call for a Special Session. These children should not remain “unfinished business.” Sincerely,
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Tovah M. Noah, United States6 years ago ZIP code: 77489
Laura Torgerson, United States6 years ago ZIP code: 77005
Carolyn Franks R.N., B.S., United States6 years ago ZIP code: 77536-6279
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