We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Alabama Governor Would Cut Children’s Health Care Before Raising Taxes
- This article was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
In outlining his priorities for Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley (R) vowed to shrink the size of government and oppose tax increases to balance the state’s budget. But to do that, Bentley is asking the federal government to let him lower the number of children who could qualify for ALL Kids, the state’s public health insurance plan for children:
“We don’t have the money,” Bentley said Sunday. […]
ALL Kids this year covers about 84,000 children and of those, about 15,800 are between 200 percent and 300 percent of poverty. The popular children’s health insurance program is normally a bright spot in terms of Alabama’s ability to provide health insurance to its neediest residents, and the program has been hailed nationally for its success. […]
Although the federal government picks up 78 percent of the cost of ALL Kids, Bentley said he asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to allow the eligibility change because the state can’t afford its 22 percent share.
The state faces a $400 million deficit, and Williamson said cutting 15,800 children from the program would save the state $8.5 million. But meanwhile, the state House narrowly passed the governor’s economic plan that would increase tax breaks for businesses.
In his State of the State address, Bentley promised to “oppose any effort to raise taxes on Alabama families, and I will veto any tax increase.” Instead, his budget plan would continue the state’s history of corporate tax giveaways. In 2011, state and local tax breaks for the ThyssenKrupp AG steel mill in Mobile, Alabama topped $1 billion for the company to create 2,700 jobs — or $400,000 per job created.
Along with the children who will be left without adequate health care, Alabama will likely eliminate its participation in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program next year because of budget cuts. That will cost the state $141 million in federal funds for Alabama families.
- Editor's Note: This article was originally published February 27, 2012, at ThinkProgress. Photo of Gov. Robert Bentley from official Alabama Governor website.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
When I was young, Mamie Lattimer lived across the street from my grandmother in Jackson, Mississippi. Her yard could only be charitably described as a jungle. My grandmother loved it. In the summer, you weren't sure there was really a house there. Crepe myrtles, hollyhock, lantana (in the one sunny area), nandina, magnolia, and other assorted bushes, shrubs, and bulbs not readily apparent covered every inch of the corner lot. It wasn't until I was an adult that I really appreciated why it was Dar (my grandmother--short for Darling Darling. Proof your grandkids will call you whatever they damn well Read on →
In England the bookies William Hill are giving odds of 4-1 (a tumble from earlier 14-1) on the new royal baby being named "Alice", unless it is "Arthur, Henry or James" (all at 20-1.) If it’s Alice the pay-out for the bookmakers will be eye-watering. My first reaction to reading this today was to feel dubious about "Alice" and to shudder at "Arthur." I wondered how they could admire names that made my mouth turn down at the corners. It’s all about association. My father’s older sister was called Alice. She must have been ancient, in her fifties when I met her a Read on →
"The Stone Age came to an end not for a lack of stones, and the oil age will end, but not for a lack of oil." -- Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former Saudi Arabian Minister of Oil, 2000 The Great Transition has begun. I know, because our household is part of it. I speak of humanity's transition from the bondage of addiction to fossil fuels -- addiction that has fouled our air and water, disrupted our climate and ravaged our earth -- to the liberation of renewable energy. You're looking at our house. On February 4, we installed a 12-panel solar photovoltaic (PV) array Read on →
My friend, Jack deJarnette, was a frequent contributor to Like The Dew. He was a retired United Methodist minister who came to the cloth by way of respiratory therapy. Jack and I met the first day of the 9th grade at Georgia Military Academy in College Park. (GMA is now Woodward Academy.) I was stone cold alone sitting in study hall when Jack and I started talking. A lifelong friendship was born. Jack and I were both in the band (me firmly occupying third chair clarinet and him the sole bass drum). I was in the band because it kept me out Read on →