We’re fighting for a Texas where every child and their family has health coverage that is comprehensive, affordable, and reliable, regardless of their income, zip code, or immigration status. Children and families deserve access to preventative care, therapies, and medications when they need it. They deserve to learn, grow, and thrive free from worry about their physical and mental health.
Texas leads the nation with the highest uninsured rate at nearly double the national average, for children and overall. Despite tremendous progress expanding access to children’s health coverage nationally through programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Children’s Medicaid, our state leaders continue to make policy choices that create barriers—not help—for children and their families to get covered. Those choices include red tape that make it difficult for children to stay on their plans, and laws that limit which children and families can get coverage in the first place—decisions that largely affect low-wage families in communities of color. When children lack health insurance, they are more likely to miss school days, fall behind, and have trouble catching up physically, socially, and academically.
Since 1999, CDF-Texas has worked with partners, coalitions, and leaders across the state to secure health coverage for children and their families. These are the current pillars of our work to ensure every young Texan has a Healthy Start:
- Hold the Line: Despite historic gains in health coverage for children and families through Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Texas continues to create barriers to coverage. We fight alongside our partners to move children’s coverage forward through these lifesaving programs, never backward.
- Enroll Our Children: We must ensure every child who qualifies for health insurance programs gets enrolled, and that Medicaid, CHIP, and ACA plans are easy for children and their families to get, afford, and keep. We champion legislation, policies, and strategies to Texas agencies and legislators that eliminate red tape for families, promote uninterrupted coverage, and reach families where they are.
- Engage Our Families: We partner with children and families who are affected most by state health policies to uplift their experiences and ensure their voices are heard by decision makers. To learn more about our grassroots organizing work, visit our SickOfItTX campaign site.
- We joined the statewide campaign to ensure Texas adopted the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 1999. Today, roughly 3.5 million Texas children have health care coverage through CHIP and Children’s Medicaid.
- We successfully passed the Children’s Coverage Bill, which tears away red tape in children’s Medicaid by removing inaccurate mid-year income checks that often kicked eligible children off their coverage.
- After nearly a decade of inaction on Medicaid expansion, CDF-Texas created SickOfItTX in 2019, a grassroots campaign activating tens of thousands of constituents to build power and momentum for coverage. In 2021, the campaign pressured the Texas House to prioritize health coverage for the first time in years, improving healthcare coverage for children and birthing parents.