Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Texas to Dump 6,500 Families from State Sponsored Health Insurance?

The Texas Legislature's Special Session agenda includes Senate Bill 23.  Section Four of SB23 calls for Texas to eliminate the State Kids Insurance Program within the Employees Retirement System of Texas.  Should the bill pass nearly 6,500 families would be impacted.   Dumping dependent children from state health insurance rolls saves money, but the ka-ching comes from shifting kids to CHIP, which is federally funded.

Abolishing the SKIP program and enrolling eligible children in CHIP is estimated to have a net savings of $2.9 million in All Funds in fiscal year 2012 and $3.0 million in All Funds in fiscal year 2013 and subsequent fiscal years; estimated savings to General Revenue Funds ($13.0 million in fiscal year 2012, $13.2 million in fiscal year 2013 and subsequent fiscal years) are higher due to the federal matching rate for CHIP, which results in a smaller proportion of funding from General Revenue Funds in CHIP than in SKIP.

Gov. Rick"Say No to Washington" Perry will happily milk $20.3 million from Uncle Sam.  Texas may join the City of San Angelo in shifting the burden of dependent coverage from the employer to a tapped out Uncle Sam.  City Human Resources passed out CHIP applications to staff facing draconian premium increases for dependents.

Poser Perry postures as anti-Washington, but his track record shows otherwise.  He pandered to 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, home of The Carlyle Group.  The occupants owed Texas taxpayers nearly $35 million, until Perry renegotiated the deal and Carlyle sold Vought Aircraft Industries.  That pool of money won't return to help reduce the stress.  Kids must pay, so adults can play with their spoils.

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