Clip files/Local news from the states

This column features selected short items about state health care policy.

100,000 low-income children lose health coverage

AUSTIN, TX—A popular government program has shed nearly 100,000 low-income children since Texas lawmakers approved budget cuts in May, and its rolls are shrinking faster than some had expected. Sharply declining enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program has sparked debate about whether the stricter rules passed by the legislature went too far and could end up sending more uninsured children to hospital emergency departments for care. An additional restriction, a limit on some families’ assets, is scheduled to take effect next month. State officials will begin denying coverage to families if they have cash, bank balances, or securities exceeding $5,000 or own cars exceeding certain values.

Dallas Morning News, Jan. 14, 2004