Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Want My Adult Basic

When the state of Pennsylvania ran out of money for a low income, subsidized health insurance plan with limited benefits, they closed the offering.

Seems folks in PA weren't happy, so they did the all American thing.

They sued.

Three people who were covered by a state-run health care plan for lower-income adults that stopped being funded two weeks ago sued Monday to force Pennsylvania to re-establish the program.

The lawsuit filed in Commonwealth Court alleges that money set aside for the plan, called adultBasic, was unlawfully diverted to other purposes, and is directly responsible for the plan's end on Feb. 28. The suit, filed by Sheryl Sears of McKeesport, Ronald Guiney of Butler and Florence Spanos of Pittsburgh, also seeks a class-action order. More than 41,000 were covered under adultBasic.

Times are hard and money doesn't grow on tree's . . . except in Washington. The rest of us need money in the bank.

AdultBasic began in 2002 as a basic health insurance program for low-income working adults who weren't poor enough to qualify for Medicaid and weren't old enough to qualify for Medicare. It didn't cover dental needs or prescription drugs, but it covered the cost of major surgeries and is considered better coverage than Special Care.

In 2005, the state's Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurers, which were under scrutiny from then-Gov. Ed Rendell's administration for the size of their surpluses, agreed to help finance adultBasic for six years, ending Dec. 31, 2010.

The program was financed on the backs of taxpayers, tobacco users and insurance companies (including their policyholders).

Obviously that wasn't enough.

As harsh as this may sound, at some point adults need to accept personal responsibility for their decisions. Jobs are hard to come by but there is always a reward for hard work and a sense of industry.

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