Centennial Celebration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TPS Centennial Updates

Looking Back: 200 Chocolate Chip Cookies
Governor Abbott has proclaimed May 12 as Pediatricians Day in Texas!
Message from TPS President Dr. Seth D. Kaplan
Message from TPS Executive Director Tricia Hall, CAE, CMP

 

Looking Back: 200 Chocolate Chip Cookies


As I reflect on my service to the Texas Pediatric Society and the children of Texas I recall my role in authorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program in Texas.  
In 1997 Following the failure of the Clinton  administration to enact universal health insurance, a bill passed authorizing money to expand health insurance for low income children whose family income exceeded the upper limit for Medicaid. Like Medicaid, it was a federal-state partnership but the federal match was better than for Medicaid. Each state government could decide on income requirements and medical benefits.  
I was serving on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on State Government Affairs so I learned of the program very early. I called my state representative, Rob Junell, who was Chair of the Appropriations Committee in the Texas House. By that time the Texas Legislature had ended the 1997 session and would not resume until January, 1999.
As 1999 started it was evident that the main question was what the upper income level would be for families to qualify. Medicaid coverage ended at 185% of poverty for the 1st year of life; 150% of poverty for 1 to 6 years of age and 133% of poverty for 7 to 18 years of age.  Some states chose to enact CHIP coverage to 150%, many to 200% and a few to 300% or 400%. In Texas the debate was whether to cover children up to 150% or 200%.  Of course, the TPS and the TMA lobbied for the higher level. I personally lobbied Representative Junell to encourage the 200% level. When it passed at 200%, I sent him a basket containing 200 chocolate chip cookies. He later reciprocated by giving me the pen (pictured right) that Governor George Bush used to sign the bill into law.

-Jane Rider, MD
 


(The pen is housed at the Texas Pediatric Society office as a memento of this important legislation.)