October 4, 2017/Media, Press

Texas Republican Pete Sessions said funding CHIP was “not dire or urgent”

Austin, TX — Earlier this week, in the dead of night, 9 million children lost healthcare because Republicans let the Children’s Health Insurance Program expire. According to NBC5, “CHIP provides health insurance to approximately 9 million low-income children and pregnant women across the country. That number includes more than 390,000 in Texas.” [NBC DFW 5, October 4, 2017]

The New York Times reported, “Representative Pete Sessions, Republican of Texas, said the need was ‘not dire or urgent.’ Republicans, he said, intend to provide the funds, so ‘the money that is necessary to keep this program going is not in jeopardy.’”[New York Times, October 3, 2017]

Texas Democratic Party Deputy Executive Director Manny Garcia issued the following statement:

“Pete Sessions half-hearted comment about Children’s Health Insurance Program makes one thing certain, he does not care about children.

“Families are being squeezed by rising health care costs and they damn sure shouldn’t have to wait for their sick child to get the care they need.

“Texas Democrats believe one of the highest responsibilities we have is ensuring the health, well-being, and safety of our children. The fact is, CHIP is a lifeline for Texas children.

“No person or child should ever go without healthcare. We will never give up on the fight for universal coverage.”

Additional Background:

  • “The program, created in 1997 and adopted in Texas in 1999, has cut the percentage of uninsured children nationwide from 25 percent in 1997 to 5 percent in 2015.”

  • “It also offers prenatal care to about 36,000 pregnant women in Texas. About 340,000 Texan children ineligible for Medicaid are covered under CHIP, and another 249,000 Texan children on Medicaid benefit from CHIP’s 92 percent matching rate.”

  • “Together, Medicaid and CHIP cover about 45 percent of all children in the state.”

Read the full story in the Texas Tribune

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