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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Importance of SCHIP
04/27/2009

Click to listen to the taped broadcast.

I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

One in five Texas children do not have health insurance. Of those, 89 percent live in homes where at least one parent works.

Children without health insurance often do not get the shots or preventive care that is designed to keep them healthy. As a result, their parents end up using emergency rooms as clinics, and taxpayers often foot the bill.

President Obama recently signed an important federal bill expanding children’s health insurance coverage through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or “SCHIP.” The bill adds nearly $33 billion to the program to cover an additional 4 million children nationwide.

But Texas lawmakers must find money in a tight budget to extend coverage to more uninsured children in Texas. Under SCHIP, the federal government pays 72 cents of every dollar for children’s health care and states pay the rest. Texas has not always matched the full amount allotted, leaving federal money on the table.

It is crucial for our lawmakers in Austin to make the tough choices necessary to ensure that coverage is available to more of the 1.5 million uninsured Texas children.

Please join me in urging our State Legislature to fully fund SCHIP. To find information about how to contact your representatives, visit TexasHealth.org/Reform.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based family of hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist, and Texas Health Arlington Memorial, I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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