The Truth About CHIP

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

With just 28 days left until Election Day, campaigns both national and local are turning up the heat.

One of the main issues emerging In the District 17 congressional race is the state's Children's Health Insurance Program.

"The fact that he would distort the numbers for his own political gain is not acceptable," says Wohlgemuth Campaign Communications Director Gena Hollenbeck.

"The bottom line is the numbers speak for themselves," Edwards replies.

The numbers surrounding cuts to the Children's Health Insurance Program are staggering.

But both sides are debating who was hurt, how bad and who is at fault.

Edwards says Wohlgemuth left 147,000 children uninsured in Texas.

"It was the very purpose of their bill to cut children off of health care services and I think that was very short-sided and didn't save tax payers hundreds of dollars in lost federal funds. And is forcing those kids into emergency rooms now," says Edwards.

But the number 147,000 children can be misleading. Of that number, 18 percent are children who did not qualify for the program because of stricter requirements."

And Wohlgemuth's campaign says that means there aren't literally 147,000 children without healthcare.

"The truth remains that out of the 147,000, 40 percent of parents did not even bother to fill out the paperwork to get their child re enrolled," says Hollenbeck.

The latest figures from the state show now over 152,000 fewer children are enrolled in CHIP than last year.

And 26 percent are now covered by Medicaid.

Health and Human Services also says while Chip rolls are down, one out of every three children in Texas is covered by a state health insurance program.

That's a number Edwards would like to increase, but Wohlgemuth doesn't want tax payers footing the bill.

CHIP enrollment in Brazos County is down by nearly 700 participants.


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