Rick Perry is not my favorite human. He restored some of the mental health benefits to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is good. It’s not what we had, and a bunch of kids have lost eligibility for CHIP completely because of rule changes, but at least we’re not going to become the only state that has a CHIP program with no mental health benefits.
But let’s examine the more interesting bits of the press release:
Gov. Rick Perry today announced that the state will increase mental health and substance abuse benefits available through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), pending federal government approval.
Increase. Like “from none.”
“We have directed the Health and Human Services Commission to enhance the mental health services available to Texas children covered by CHIP.”
Enhance. Like “have any at all.”
Mental health benefits available under CHIP were reduced during the 78th Texas Legislature as lawmakers worked to produce a balanced budget despite a $10 billion shortfall.
Reduced. Like “eliminated.”
After consulting with state leaders, Perry directed the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to adjust the CHIP mental health and substance abuse benefits to include:
Adjust. Like “bring back into existence.”
It’s not like it’s a big SECRET that they took it out completely. I understand the PR value of making the Lege’s cuts sound less drastic, but this is so pitifully obvious that it seems more like reflex than strategy.