WHEREAS, since its inception in 1997, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has garnered widespread support from both parties and from an overwhelming majority of the nation’s governors and state legislatures; and

WHEREAS, CHIP has been a reliable source of coverage for low-income children in working families whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private health insurance; and,

WHEREAS, CHIP allows children to be vaccinated under the Texas Vaccine Program, allowing them to receive yearly well-child visits and vaccines at no charge, thereby preventing serious illnesses and contributing to healthy children and healthy communities; and,

WHEREAS, since 2009, Medicaid expansion and CHIP have helped reduce the children’s uninsured rate from 15 percent to a record low of 5 percent; and,

WHEREAS, CHIP provides access to quality dental, vision, and other services for Texas children that would be lost unless Congress renews the program that expired on October 1, 2017; and,

WHEREAS, absent action by Congress, Texas will now run out of money for the CHIP program in February 2018, according to estimates by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the state’s health agency; and,

WHEREAS, 400,000 Texas children who are not eligible for Medicaid are able to access to affordable health coverage through CHIP; and,

WHEREAS, more than 29,000 Texas children covered by CHIP reside in border counties; and,

WHEREAS, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee has approved legislation reauthorizing the expired CHIP program for five years without resorting to cuts in other health programs; the U.S. House authorization bill relies on cuts to Medicaid and public health programs and increased Medicare premiums; and,

WHEREAS, any initiative to advance public health through the reauthorization of the CHIP program would be incomplete without also addressing significant funding needs for Community Health Centers, Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments, Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and the National Health Service Corps:

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Texas Border Coalition calls on President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance and related public health program without relying on cuts to other needed health programs.

Signed this 12th day of December, 2017

Pete Saenz
Mayor, City of Laredo
Chairman, Texas Border Coalition

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