Technical Error Delays Debate on CHIP Changes

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A technical error has kept lawmakers from discussing a proposal to loosen some enrollment restrictions for Texas' low-cost insurance program for children.

Still, the measure's sponsor --- Representative Sylvester Turner --- says he's confident it will eventually pass.

His proposal would let parents re-enroll in the Children's Health Insurance Program every year instead of every six months. The proposal also would eliminate the 90-day waiting period unless the child had recently been covered in another insurance plan.

The full chamber was scheduled to debate the proposal yesterday. Instead it was sent back to the committee because a word had been dropped from an analysis of the proposal.

Approximately 325-thousand-400 children are now enrolled in CHIP. That's about 182-thousand fewer than in 2003 when the changes were made.

Advocates for poor families blamed the cuts for the enrollment decline, saying administrative roadblocks kept eligible children from receiving coverage.