AUSTIN — Texas has the highest number and percentage of uninsured children in the country. According to the United States Census, the child uninsured rate in Texas rose from 9.8% in 2016 to 12.7%, over double the national average, in 2019 before the pandemic. For these reasons, Chairman Philip Cortez filed House Bill 290 which seeks to provide one income check during a 12 month period of eligibility, to ensure children are covered through the Medicaid program. The amended language from HB 290 was included in the conference committee report of House Bill 2658, which was passed today in the House of Representatives.
Chairman Cortez issued the following statement:
“The passage of HB 2658 with HB 290 included, will ensure more Texas children can keep their Medicaid health insurance. The current system is not working for families, who must deal with numerous eligibility checks throughout a one year period only to show up to doctors office’s to learn their child is not covered by Medicaid. Thank you to Speaker Phelan, Chairman James Frank, and my House and Senate colleagues for making sure Texas children get the healthcare they need and deserve. Healthcare for Texas kids is not a partisan issue. It’s a Texas issue. We owe that to our children who are the future of Texas.”
Speaker Dade Phelan issued the following statement:
“HB 290 through HB 2658 is included in my “Healthy Families, Healthy Texas” package and I’m pleased to see the bipartisan support to get this policy put into law. My thanks to Chairman Philip Cortez and Chairman James Frank for leading the way on this important legislation for Texas children.”
Chairman Cortez is available for comment and interview coordinated through Clarissa Rodriguez.
UPDATE: Passed by Senate and Sent to Governor for signature