Representative Eric Johnson sent a letter on Aug. 9 to Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Charles Smith regarding the Commission’s decision to eliminate the Texas Publishers Association (TPA) outreach campaign that provided funding in the amount of $100,000 to several minority newspapers to publish information regarding enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This is an issue addressed in the North Dallas Gazette’s cover story this week.
The outreach campaign is the only real effort the state has made to connect with minority newspapers in the state. Now, the campaign has been eliminated, despite it being a very minor portion of the massive $80 billion HHSC biennial budget.
Representative Johnson stated the following in his letter to Executive Commissioner Smith:
“Continued funding for the campaign should be seen as imperative to ensuring equitable coverage for Texas’ uninsured children,“ said Representative Johnson.
“Texas has consistently held the nation’s second worst rate of uninsured children. This ad campaign reaches our state’s most eligible communities, including those in my district. Children across Texas have health insurance because their parents read these papers,” Johnson added.
“The funding provided through the campaign directly affects my youngest constituents, and it is my hope that you will prioritize increasing the accessibility of information regarding these children’s eligibility for adequate healthcare coverage,” Johnson concluded the letter.
Copies of the letter are below: