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
On this Americans agree: There's too much money in politics, and it's eroding our democracy. A recent poll (New York Times, June 2, 2015) reveals 85 percent of Americans believe we must either make "fundamental changes" or "completely rebuild" how campaigns are financed. The United States can no longer claim to be democracy. Instead of one person, one vote, it's now one dollar, one vote. A 2014 Princeton University study concludes: "Multivariate [statistical] analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or Read on →
At the beginning of 1997 I bought a new car. It was modest in price and style, but automatic and practical for a woman living in London. It was easy to park, small enough to fit in the narrowest spaces and comfortable to drive: a navy blue Daihatsu Charade that would not attract thieves or envy. I got it at a bargain price because one of my sons worked for a dealership. It was zippy in traffic, when traffic allowed. British roads are narrower and more congested than American ones, this small island being packed with a population of 63 million. Read on →
The outcome of Christie's recent auction of General Robert E. Lee's precious navel lint left even the most jaded “Lost Cause” memorabilia mavens gobsmacked and whistling Dixie. Not to mention afflicting many frustrated, heart-broken losing bidders with a temporary paralysis that baffled emergency physicians compared to the old-timey Southern Belle "vapors." This dream-crushing auction loss brutalized their very star and barred souls. The awestruck winner of General Lee’s coveted navel detritus, said that he did not consider himself to be the “owner” of the singular holy Rebel artifact; only its humble and devoted caretaker until the treasure is passed on to the next wors Read on →
If you have noticed your TV smelling a little mildewy lately, or have found tendrils of Spanish moss clogging your TiVo, there is a perfectly good reason – the basic cable producers have discovered the Louisiana swamps; and like the Nazis who invaded Poland, they are not going to settle for just one kielbasa. Even though there is an old saying that if you’ve seen one alligator, you’ve seen them all, evidently Hollywood TV producers can tell the difference; granted, they are experts at dealing with thick-skinned carnivores after their experiences with the Kardashians, various cold-blooded housewives, and beady-eyed reptilian denizens of th Read on →