Lawmakers Want Governor to Add CHIP to Special Session

Texas leads the nation when it comes to children without health insurance. Houston State Representative Garnet Coleman would like to see that change. He's sent a letter to Governor Rick Perry, urging him to include legislation regarding the children's health insurance program in the upcoming special session. Pat Hernandez has more.

Governor Perry has not set a date for the special session, but he's being bombarded by a broad consensus of supporters of a children's health insurance bill to include it on the agenda. State Representative Garnet Coleman of Houston and 75 colleagues in the Texas House signed a letter urging him to include the measure.

"It's very important that the message be sent that children should be our priority, and the state does have a role,where a CHIP program that is geared toward working families who pay more than the state would ever pay, is an important program and sits where the state should be going."

Lawmakers almost passed a plan that allowed needy families to buy into CHIP coverage, but it died in the regular session. Coleman says the bipartisan measure would have provided 80-thousand uninsured children in hard  working Texas families access to affordable health care.

"There's no doubt about it that it's penny wise and pound foolish not to do this, and this just makes good sense. And so, I hope that the governor sees that and puts it on the call."

The letter signed by the lawmakers is similar to one signed by a coalition of agencies across the state. It urges Governor Perry to complete a critical piece of unfinished business.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...