Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hoosier Carrier?

State officials have selected Anthem Insurance to offer a health care plan for low-income adults that will be subsidized by this year's increase in Indiana's cigarette tax.

Anthem, AKA Blue Cross of Indiana, is the winner of Indiana's booby prize.

Officials expect that the 44 cents per pack increase in the cigarette tax that took effect July 1 - to 99.5 cents - will raise enough money to provide health insurance to more than 100,000 low-income Hoosiers and fund other health initiatives.

Some have a problem with so-called sin taxes.

I am not one of them as long as the money is used as outlined.

I also prefer the term stupid tax over sin tax. I feel it is much more fitting.

The program approved by legislators this spring calls for the state to provide subsidized health care to adults who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but less than twice the federal poverty level - $41,300 for a family of four. Children can receive other government-subsidized health care.

Sounds like a plan to me.

The state estimates as many as 367,000 Indiana adults qualify for the subsidized coverage, but the legislation provides funding for only an estimated 140,000, so enrollment will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Rationed health insurance from the government. Where have we seen that before?

Annual deductibles for the plan are not exceed 5 percent of household income, up to $1,100 a year.

I am sure there will be cries of foul over this one.

Still, it is a start in the right direction.
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