Talking Good, Ignoring Bad

Posted in Health Care, The Budget, 80th Legislature, Around The State at 9:18 am by wcnews

Last week when Lt. Gov. Dewhurst wouldn’t meet with clergy members and leaders of a community action group there was much angst from the Lt. Gov. But, as with any disagreement, once the two sides meet and discuss their differences things change. The strong rhetoric, zealots and magnifiers, decreases and both sides start to make progress toward an agreement.

Most of the hourlong meeting focused on CHIP coverage and a dispute over whether enrollment should run for six or 12 months.”Let’s look at a way to have continuous coverage — as long as you are eligible — and so we talked about a number of different ways to achieve that,” Dewhurst said later.

The Network of Texas IAF Organizations, which includes San Antonio-based Communities Organized for Public Service/Metro Alliance, wants lawmakers to return the CHIP program to 12-month eligibility instead of six.

Organization leaders said details remain fuzzy on how the state would verify eligibility for the federal-state program intended to provide health insurance to children of lower-income families.

“I had a very positive impression. If he implements what he wants to see implemented, it’s going to be a positive development,” said Father Walter D’heedene, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and a leader with COPS/Metro.

Of course, there’s no possibility of this happening when one side ignores the other. I’ll give Lt. Gov. Dewhurst credit for finally acting like a leader and taking a meeting and discussing this issue with this group. But let’s not forget that this, more than likely, wouldn’t have happened without that group and a member of the media bringing this to the Lt. Gov. and our attention. Hmm…maybe talking to the people we have differences with is a way to solve problems? Nah, that’s much too simple.

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