As Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush touts a commitment to ensuring that all American children receive adequate health care, a Federal Judge ruled on Aug. 14 that Texas has failed to uphold a 1996 consent decree to increase access to and improve health care for Medicaid patients in the state. The class action lawsuit was filed in 1993 on behalf of the 1.5 million Texas children eligible for Medicaid. Plaintiffs recently argued that, despite the 1996 consent decree, the state has failed to improve its health care system for the poor. The focus of the ruling was the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program, designed to provide early health care for poor children to curb later health problems. Plaintiffs in the case argue that Texas does not educate indigent families about available treatments and did not provide transportation to see doctors. Prosecution lawyer Susan Zinn commented that lawmakers, including Gov. Bush, have contributed to the inadequacy by promoting and implementing tax cuts, taking money away from the health care system.