Tuesday, January 16, 2007

For the Children...

Recently, both Bob and Mike have blogged on states' efforts to get more children insured. Both pointed out that, ultimately, this really means you and I will pay for that coverage (we can argue as to its cost effectiveness another time). Sometimes, though, the private sector gives the gummint an even bigger kick in the pants:
WellPoint (aka Blue Cross) has decided that even more government money needs to be spent on insuring children (and, to a lesser extent, adults). It's pretty easy for a big insurance company to endorse such a plan: you and I will pay for it, and they'll run it (and, presumably, make a buck or three in the process). Their brave new plan calls for increased spending by the states, expanding access to health coverage for children by subsidizing coverage for families that earn up to 3 times the federal level, or about $60,000 a year for a family of 4. How generous.
But that's not all:
■ The WP plan would offer access to a subsidized state health care program for parents who earn up to 200% of the federal poverty level, and
■ Cover all childless adults (those that apparently have no say in foreign policy, anyway) who may earn as much as the federal poverty level (about $10k for a single adult), and
■Help with premiums for families that have trouble paying for their their private insurance (hey, at least they're insured), and
■ TaDa! Set up (and/or expand) state “high-risk pools;” insurance programs for individuals who have trouble buying conventional coverage because they suffer from health problems (e.g. insulin dependent diabetics, folks with MS, etc)
[ed: Actually, I'm pretty much okay with that last...there needs to be a mechanism for folks who want insurance coverage, and are willing to pay for it, but not go broke in the process. But I believe that this is a separate issue]
How much will this wonderful plan cost?
Ask Senator Berglin.
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