Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Many Texas Kids May Lose Health Insurance Because Of Hurricane Ike

This is from the Houston Chronicle—

“At least 36,000 children living in the areas affected by Hurricane Ike may fall off the rolls of government health insurance programs because they have not re-enrolled for the coming year. Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, said more than half of the 72,000 children statewide who did not re-enroll in Medicaid are from the Houston and Beaumont areas — both hit by Hurricane Ike. “We expect to see some swings in enrollment, but this was bigger than normal,” Goodman said. “Seeing a higher percentage from one area also raised warning signs that we need to stop and take a look at this.” Children will have coverage through the end of the year as agency workers call families to find out why they did not submit applications. “In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike and a worsening economy, it is critical that safety net programs are operating as efficiently as possible so that struggling families can get the help that they need,” said Barbara Best of the Houston-based Children’s Defense Fund Texas office. Medicaid coverage applies to children whose families are at federal poverty levels, meaning a family of three would earn no more than $17,600. CHIP coverage is available for a similar family earning up to twice that amount. Goodman said many families did not return application renewal forms that were mailed to their homes. The agency is trying to determine if mail and other disruptions caused by the hurricane prevented families from completing paperwork.”

This was all foreseeable. It could have been a priority to address.  It’s just that nobody bothered.

Now when it comes to job cuts at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston–Well, folks are all over that making sure it gets done. 

Where is the coordinated response of our elected officials— at least the Democrats—to these problems? Where are the doctors who worked hard for so-called tort reform in Texas, but are now silent when people need help?

(Update–This issue has been addressed for the time being. We’ll see how this is dealt with over the longer haul. Why is it such an adventure to make sure kids have health insurance in this state? Or adults for that matter.)

December 22, 2008 - Posted by | Ways We Hate Children | , , , , ,

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