When Rocio Castillo’s children and different San Antonio kids are wholesome, they’re extra prone to make it to high school every day and focus within the classroom.
When children are in a position to go to common check-ups, they get immunizations to maintain them wholesome. After they have appointments throughout the crucial interval of early childhood mind growth, docs can spot developmental delays which may require occupational remedy or speech remedy. And when children throughout Texas are sick, whether or not from a strep throat or most cancers, they should obtain a fast prognosis and applicable medical care.
However new numbers out from the U.S. Census Bureau present that many children in San Antonio and all through Texas should not in a position to get the well being care they want.
The information present that Texas has the nation’s highest charge of youngsters with out medical health insurance — by far. In Texas, 11.2 % of children have been uninsured in 2019, twice the nationwide common and far increased than the second-worst charge, Alaska’s 9.four %. It’s an issue all through the state, with metro areas from Amarillo to Brownsville, Longview to Odessa, and Dallas to San Antonio all coping with these excessive uninsured charges.
Recently, Texas has been transferring within the unsuitable course, with the uninsured charge for teenagers getting worse every of the final two years. Knowledge from our state’s Well being and Human Companies Fee reveal an enormous cause that extra kids are uninsured: The variety of Texas children enrolled in Medicaid or the Kids’s Well being Insurance coverage Program fell by 228,000 from December 2017 to June, a 7 % decline.
This brings us again to Rocio Castillo’s children — and what the Legislature can do to get Texas transferring in the fitting course.
Throughout the latest legislative session, the San Antonio Categorical-Information reported that Castillo’s kids, like hundreds of different kids in Texas, misplaced their Medicaid medical health insurance as a result of further pink tape within the state’s system.
The paper reported, “She is consistently sending documentation to the state, she stated, though nothing is altering together with her household earnings.”
At a time when so many employers in Texas pay low wages and provide little to no well being protection, Medicaid and CHIP are crucial to supply well being care to the youngsters of development employees, gross sales clerks, janitors, residence well being aides and different Texans.
However the state requires many households to maintain offering documentation all year long, on a good timeline, to stay enrolled. Consequently, many Texas children cycle on and off insurance coverage, leaving gaps of their well being care and creating extra paperwork for everybody concerned.
State legislators on either side of the aisle have acknowledged that the system must be improved so eligible kids keep enrolled in Medicaid. Throughout this 12 months’s legislative session, San Antonio Rep. Philip Cortez teamed up with Home Human Companies Committee Chairman James Frank and youngsters’s advocates to cross a measure via the Texas Home that might have taken a primary step towards decreasing pointless paperwork.
Sadly, the Senate didn’t take up the laws. Ultimately, the Legislature didn’t cross any payments to cut back the uninsured charge for Texas kids.
We’re dissatisfied the Legislature got here up quick, however we’re additionally hopeful that state leaders will construct on the dialog that began throughout the latest session, take a tough have a look at the numbers and determine to make kids’s well being protection a precedence.
By making administrative enhancements to the state’s system this 12 months and passing kids’s well being protection laws throughout the 2021 legislative session, state leaders can lower via the pink tape that households face and make sure that extra eligible children keep enrolled of their well being protection.
Adriana Kohler is the senior well being coverage affiliate at Texans Take care of Kids.