The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Ya Think Madla Understands Now?

Via Kuff, I find out about this Houston Chronicle article detailing the utter ineptitude that has come with the passage of HB 2292 and the reorganization and privatization of vital health and human services.

I've been trying to figure out which pieces to cut and paste onto this blog for a quote, but really, you should just read the entire thing. Here's some of the most meaningful information that needs to be past on though.

  • Since December of 2005, the number of kids kicked off of CHIP has shot up from 180,000 to 195,000.
  • The Texas Association of Health Plans states that 73% of all renewal applications are being denied.
  • Only 13% of those kids who lost their CHIP coverage did so because their parent's income rose too high. Although that's also a misleading statement, as HB 2292 also toughened the income requirements to be on CHIP. It'd be interesting to see how many of those children who were booted off the program because their parents 'make too much money' would still be on the program sans the new income requirements.
  • 6,000 children were kicked off of CHIP two weeks ago because their parents did not pay a fee they hadn't been told to pay.
  • If current trends continue, another 117,000 children could be cut off of CHIP by June.

That would bring the total number of children cut from the CHIP program since the passage of HB 2292 to about 312,000. Or just below the number of children that will probably be enrolled in the program in June '06. And I still haven't talked about the number of children who have lost their vision, dental and mental health benefits.

But that's ok, because saving money by taking away a kid's health insurance makes their health problems go away! It's not like the kids will get sick and have to use our county hospital's emergency rooms for 10 times the cost, thereby placing an even bigger tax burden on the citzenry's shoulders, right?

1.4 million children in Texas are uninsured. Frank Madla's single vote would've automatically dropped that number down to 1.2 million right now. And that's not counting the additional children who would've continued to be enrolled in this program over that last two years with the failure of 2292.

The wonders of privatization, what can't it do?