By Maxey                                              H.C.R. No. 84
         77R1842 MKS-D                           
                             HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
 1-1           WHEREAS, Community-based safety-net programs, which include
 1-2     public hospitals, community health centers, rural health clinics,
 1-3     and programs to recruit and train medical providers for underserved
 1-4     areas, play a significant role in the delivery of medical care and
 1-5     related services to the large number of Americans who cannot afford
 1-6     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 state and federal safety-net programs; of a total of 254 Texas
1-11     counties, 175 entire counties and an additional 41 partial counties
1-12     are federally designated as medically underserved areas; these
1-13     areas include all 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 safety-net programs for medical care; and
1-20           WHEREAS, Federal safety-net programs are particularly
1-21     important to the four border states, which rank among the six
1-22     states with the highest percentage of uninsured persons under 65
1-23     partly because of the large numbers of immigrant households among
1-24     their populations; such households are more than twice as likely to
 2-1     lack health insurance as are households of native-born citizens,
 2-2     and a recent study found that immigrants and children who arrived
 2-3     between 1994 and 1998 account for 59 percent of the growth of the
 2-4     uninsured; and
 2-5           WHEREAS, Community health centers are a cost-effective way to
 2-6     provide primary and preventive care to populations lacking
 2-7     high-quality medical care and reduce the inappropriate use of
 2-8     emergency rooms and 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     foreign-born residents who are uninsured by providing greater
2-13     access to regular sources of both primary care and preventive
2-14     health services and allowing medical services to target common
2-15     health 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 community health centers and other
2-19     community-based safety-net programs specifically directed to poor
2-20     and medically underserved communities; and, be it further
2-21           RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
2-22     copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to
2-23     the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of
2-24     the senate of the United States Congress, and to all members of the
2-25     Texas delegation to the congress with the request that this
2-26     resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a
2-27     memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.