Texas Governor Vetoes Bill on Student Insurance

June 23, 2009

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday vetoed House Bill 103, which would have made Texas the first state to require its high-enrollment colleges – those with 20,000 or more students – to bill students’ private insurance for care they receive at campus health centers. The bill had passed relatively effortlessly through the Texas Legislature, by votes of 143-4 in the House and 27-4 in the State Senate, with supporters saying the measure would bring in significant revenue by tapping into the private insurance plans that 70 percent of Texas students bring with them to campus. In listing his objections, Perry said the bill “would likely increase health service costs for college students and their families without increasing the level of service or care.” The governor pointed out, as have other critics of HB 103, that colleges already have the power to bill students’ private insurance plans, but most choose not to because of efficiency issues and the potential for raised cost to students.

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