Texas AFT Defends Budgets for Children’s Health Care, Higher-Ed Health Benefits

Texas AFT’s Ted Melina Raab testified at two more Legislative Budget Board hearings today, this time in defense of children’s health care and higher-education health benefits. He noted Texas AFT’s longstanding commitment to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and to Medicaid funding for children. “Our day-to-day experience has taught us that sick children, whether they are at home or in the classroom, simply cannot learn as well as healthy children,” he said.
Melina Raab at a second hearing also backed the full funding requested to maintain current benefits for the Employees Retirement System health program, which covers higher-education employees. He noted that the legislature, by assuming unrealistically low health-cost increases in the current biennium, provided too little funding, leading to a recent benefit reduction. Any further cuts, he said, would simply shift costs to employees, and higher medical costs would fall most heavily on those least able to afford it-lower-paid employees and retirees.