HBA-CCH H.C.R. 84 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.C.R. 84 By: Maxey Public Health 3/6/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Medically underserved areas are characterized by high poverty rates, high infant mortality rates, a high percentage of elderly residents, and a low percentage of primary care providers. Out of 254 Texas counties, 175 whole counties and 41 partial counties have been federally designated as medically underserved. Texas ranks among the states with the highest percentage of uninsured persons under the age of 65, due in part to immigrant households that are more than twice as likely as native-born citizens to lack health insurance. Health care organizations such as public hospitals, community health centers, rural health clinics, and programs to recruit and train health care providers in underserved areas play a significant role in providing health care to the uninsured. Community health centers and other community-based safety net programs are cost effective because of the delivery of primary and preventive care and the reduction of inappropriate emergency visits and hospitalizations. Community-based programs are also able to address the unique challenges of particular areas such as border towns with a high percentage of immigrants. Increasing the number of community-based programs in medically underserved communities would be a tremendous benefit for Texas residents, including the 56% of foreign-born residents who are unable to purchase health insurance. H.C.R. 84 requests that the United States Congress increase the number of community-based health care centers and programs in medically underserved communities. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS H.C.R. 84 requests the United States Congress to expand the number of community health centers and other community-based safety-net programs specifically directed to poor and medically underserved communities.