Happy not to be in last place (again)

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By The Staff

New Mexico is so often near the bottom of any national ranking on child well-being, that we find ourselves in the sad position of saying “thank goodness for Mississippi,” or “thank goodness for Louisiana,” because without two impoverished states, we’d more often than not end up in last place.

When it comes to health coverage for our children, we’ve been able to say “thank goodness for Texas,” because they’ve been the only state that ranks lower than we do for our inability to provide health care to our most vulnerable residents.

We almost lost that right when Texas almost succeeded in making us 50th in children’s health coverage. Texas lawmakers were poised to expand their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and cover more uninsured children.

That was, until a misguided plan to reduce spending gained momentum. They would have been able to cover more kids because of the federal stimulus funds.

But, like New Mexico, Texas decided to turn away much of the stimulus funding for children’s health care. That frees it up for the other 48 states to cover their children instead.

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