Children, Disabled, and Elderly to Lose Health Insurance

It’s good to know in our difficult financial times, the right people are being asked to make up the difference. This article from the Associated Press has more details:

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Financially strapped states are looking to take away government health insurance and benefits from millions of Americans already struggling with a souring economy.

An Associated Press review of the budgets in all 50 states reveals coverage would be eliminated for hundreds of thousands of poor children, disabled and the elderly. More than 10 million people would lose dental care, access to specialists, name-brand prescription drugs or other benefits. About 20 million could see their care jeopardized by further cuts to doctors’ reimbursements.

Health care is a choice target as governors and legislators confront the worst deficits they’ve faced in a decade or more, but that’s not their only target: They’re also considering cuts in aid to schools and universities, shrinking state workforces and even releasing prisoners before their sentences are completed.

Safety-net programs for the elderly, disabled and out-of-work also could be cut, even as the demand for those services is on the rise.

Despite the dire conditions, only a handful of states are seriously considering general tax increases or even modest hikes on the wealthy to close the gaps. Lawmakers say they fear such actions would only further stress the economy.

Instead, states are looking to increase lottery ticket sales, promote Indian gambling or further raise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. Those taxes disproportionately hit the pocketbooks of the same poor and working-class that would be hurt by the spending cuts, studies show. [full text]

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2 responses

  1. This is the direct result of 30 years of tax cuts for upper income earners.

    The “Fortunate 400,” the top 400 tax returns in the nation, had a combined income of $85.6 Billion in 2005. They averaged over $200 M in income–for that one year.

    Their tax rate was 18.23%. These people have benefited inordinately from living in America; is it too much to ask them to pay another 5%? Gosh, that would take them down to about $160 Million after tax (on average).

    Look, it’s not just money. It’s power. By allowing such a concentration of wealth, we are allowing an enormous concentration of power. Ever hear of Jack Abramoff? This is not healthy for a democracy.

    Class warfare? Sure. But they way the top few percent–the elite–have been ruthlessly consolidating their power at the expense of 90% of the population is Class Warfare on a Grand Scale. I say it’s time to return fire.

  2. we have to stop thinking in sound bytes and stop punishing politicians who tell us truths we don’t want to hear. it can’t be tax cuts, more wars and endless prosperity. when a bridge falls or a highway has to be closed we see the consequences.

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