By Maxey, Capelo                                      H.C.R. No. 84
         77R8540 MKS-D                           
                             HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
 1-1           WHEREAS, Federally funded community-based safety-net
 1-2     programs, which  are specifically designed to assist low-income
 1-3     persons without health insurance and those who live in areas that
 1-4     lack health care services, play a significant role in the delivery
 1-5     of medical care and related services to the large number of
 1-6     Americans who cannot afford health insurance; and
 1-7           WHEREAS, Texas' large size and shared border with Mexico are
 1-8     geographical factors that present the state with unique challenges
 1-9     in serving its residents and increase the importance of all types
1-10     of safety-net health care programs; of a total of 254 Texas
1-11     counties, 176 entire counties and an additional 47 partial counties
1-12     are federally designated as medically underserved areas; these
1-13     areas include all but one of the counties along the Rio Grande; and
1-14           WHEREAS, These medically underserved areas are characterized
1-15     by a high percentage of elderly residents, high poverty rates, high
1-16     infant mortality rates, and a lower ratio of primary care providers
1-17     than the national average; furthermore, these areas typically serve
1-18     working poor, minority members, foreign born, or noncitizens who
1-19     rely on community-based safety-net programs for medical care; and
1-20           WHEREAS, Federal safety-net programs are particularly
1-21     important to the four U.S.-Mexico border states, including Texas,
1-22     which rank among the six states with the highest percentage of
1-23     uninsured persons under 65 partly because of the large numbers of
1-24     immigrant households among their populations; such households are
 2-1     more than twice as likely to lack health insurance as are
 2-2     households of native-born citizens, and a recent study found that
 2-3     immigrants and children who arrived between 1994 and 1998 account
 2-4     for 59 percent of the growth of the uninsured; and
 2-5           WHEREAS, Community health centers are a cost-effective way to
 2-6     provide primary and preventive care to populations lacking medical
 2-7     care and can reduce the inappropriate use of emergency rooms and
 2-8     hospitalizations; and
 2-9           WHEREAS, Increasing the number of community health centers
2-10     would be a tremendous benefit for those Texans living in poor and
2-11     underserved communities as well as for the 56 percent of Texas'
2-12     noncitizen residents who are uninsured by providing greater access
2-13     to regular sources of both primary care and preventive health
2-14     services and allowing medical services to target common health
2-15     problems in these populations; now, therefore, be it
2-16           RESOLVED, That the 77th Legislature of the State of Texas
2-17     hereby respectfully request the Congress of the United States to
2-18     expand the number of and funding for federally funded community
2-19     health centers and other federal community-based safety-net
2-20     programs specifically directed to poor and medically underserved
2-21     communities in states with the highest numbers of uninsured
2-22     residents; and, be it further
2-23           RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
2-24     copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to
2-25     the speaker of the house of representatives, and to the president
2-26     of the senate of the United States Congress, and to all members of
2-27     the Texas delegation to the congress with the request that this
 3-1     resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a
 3-2     memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.
 3-3      BEGCAPTION 
 3-4     Memorializing congress to expand the number of community-based
 3-5     safety-net programs serving the poor and medically underserved
 3-6     communities.
 3-7      ENDCAPTION