TPS Centennial Updates
TPS invites you to celebrate 100 years of caring for the children of Texas at our Centennial Celebration on Saturday, May 14 at the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio! Snap a pic in our photo booth, catch up with friends, dance the night away, and enjoy an evening of celebration.
Click here to purchase tickets!
For more details visit the TPS Centennial Celebration page.
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.)