Statement on the Retirement of Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs

June 14, 2012                                                Contact: Christine Sinatra    (512) 473-2274
AUSTIN — Texas Well and Healthy, a grassroots campaign working to ensure affordable, quality health care for Texans, and its lead organizations--the Children's Defense Fund-Texas, Engage Texas, Texans Care for Children and the Center for Public Policy Priorities--released the following statement about the announced August 31 retirement of Tom Suehs as executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission:
Texans, including millions of children in our state, have benefited from the leadership Commissioner Tom Suehs brought to the Health and Human Services Commission. Before Suehs took office, Texas was among the poorest performing states in the country at connecting children and vulnerable Texans with services they needed and qualified for, such as health care. Our communities, families and economy are stronger today because of Suehs' commitment to addressing that crisis in our eligibility system. Today, as more formerly uninsured children get the care they need for the first time and more vulnerable Texans receive quality services in their communities, our state has perhaps the nation's most improved health and human services. We commend Tom Suehs for his leadership in turning a once-troubled system into one Texans can be proud of.
With the departure of Suehs and Texas Medicaid chief Billy Milwee, and other policy transformations happening in Texas Medicaid, this is a critical time for Texas and its kids. As a state, Texas must continue the progress we saw during Suehs' tenure--progress that meant hundreds of thousands more kids could see a doctor and gave every Texan benefits, from reduced crowding in our emergency rooms to more dollars flowing into our local hospitals and economies.
Although Texas has the nation's highest rate of uninsured children, it also has made greater progress for uninsured children in recent years than nearly any state. We thank Tom Suehs and other Texas leaders who have made it possible for more children to have quality, affordable health care.
The Texas Well and Healthy campaign is a broad, grassroots coalition working to ensure that every Texan has access to comprehensive and affordable health insurance. It is a collaboration of members of Cover Texas Now and other health care coalitions in the state. Learn more about the campaign
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