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Joint Statement by Children’s Defense Fund-Texas and Texans Care for Children on Supreme Court’s Health Reform Ruling
Groups Say Court’s Decision Helps Kids in Texas More Than Any Other State
HOUSTON, Texas—Since its passage in 2010, the nation’s health reform law, whose constitutionality was upheld today by the U.S. Supreme Court, has benefited children in Texas arguably more than any other state, according to two statewide advocacy organizations that focus on ensuring children’s access to health care. The Children’s Defense Fund and Texans Care for Children celebrated today’s ruling, and particularly the promise it holds for the 1.2 million currently uninsured children in Texas. Texas has the highest rate of uninsured children of any state in the nation, and by 2014, ninety-five percent of children will be covered under the law.
Those already benefiting under the health law include more than 3 million Texas children enrolled in the cost-effective Children’s Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program, because the nation’s health law was written in a way that helps protect both programs. Additionally, at least 2 million children in private health plans have already benefited under the law, receiving no-cost preventive care and no longer being denied care due to pre-existing conditions or lifetime caps.
“Today’s decision is a victory for children of all ages, races and incomes in Texas,” said Beth Quill, Texas executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund. “We are delighted the Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act including the Medicaid expansion, but must express some concern by the limitation of the expansion that could exclude millions of poor parents. Together, we will continue to work until all children and their parents are guaranteed access to comprehensive, affordable health coverage.”
“Call it health reform, the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, but what it has meant to countless children across Texas is a better life,” said Eileen Garcia, chief executive officer of the Austin-based Texans Care for Children. “Today’s decision reaffirmed our state’s ability to ensure every child can see a doctor when he or she needs to. Now it will be up to Texas leaders to make sure families and kids here in our state get the same benefits under the law as families and kids in any other state.”
In the past four years, Texas has managed to secure health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of formerly uninsured children, even amid a recession when fewer children are receiving coverage through their parents’ health plans. In Texas, Children’s Medicaid and CHIP have successfully helped kids across the state, allowing more of them to get the care they need so they can show up for school and grow up healthy. Today’s ruling represents an opportunity for state and national leaders to continue making progress on the goal of ensuring every Texas child and the parents and caretakers who protect them can get quality, affordable health care coverage to survive and thrive.
About Children’s Defense Fund-Texas
The mission of the Children’s Defense Fund is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life, and successful transition to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. www.cdftexas.org
About Texans Care for Children
Texans Care for Children, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, works to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of millions of Texas children and to raise awareness about their needs. www.txchildren.org