Office of House Bill AnalysisH.C.R. 84
By: Maxey
Public Health


Medically underserved areas are characterized by high poverty rates, high
infant mortality rates, a high percentage of elderly residents, and a low
percentage of primary care providers.  Out of 254 Texas counties, 175 whole
counties and 41 partial counties have been federally designated as
medically underserved. Texas ranks among the states with the highest
percentage of uninsured persons under the age of 65, due in part to
immigrant households that are more than twice as likely as native-born
citizens to lack health insurance.  Health care organizations such as
public hospitals, community health centers, rural health clinics, and
programs to recruit and train health care providers in underserved areas
play a significant role in providing health care to the uninsured.
Community health centers and other community-based safety net programs are
cost effective because of  the delivery of primary and preventive care and
the reduction of inappropriate emergency visits and hospitalizations.
Community-based programs are also able to address the unique challenges of
particular areas such as border towns with a high percentage of immigrants.
Increasing the number of community-based programs in medically underserved
communities would be a tremendous benefit for Texas residents, including
the 56% of foreign-born residents who are unable to purchase health
insurance.  H.C.R. 84 requests that the United States Congress increase the
number of community-based health care centers and programs in medically
underserved communities.  


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


H.C.R. 84 requests the United States Congress to expand the number of
community health centers and other community-based safety-net programs
specifically directed to poor and medically underserved communities.