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
It's the second week of January 1999 and the McCartneys are visiting Atlanta. But not for a concert. On this trip, Heather McCartney is unveiling her line of houseware items at the America's Mart, and Paul is there to guarantee his daughter ample media play. After helping to promote Heather's rugs, cushions and other items arrayed with designs inspired by the Huichol and Tarahumara tribes of Mexico, Paul and his son, James, make a smooth exit to explore the side streets of Atlanta. According to Paul, James, then 21, wanted to "visit the funky side of town." So into the Read on →
"A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil that good may come of it." -- William Penn The iconic images of recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri -- after the police shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen -- have left Americans of all ilks wondering: Is this America? Military Humvees, still in camouflage and mounted with machine guns, in the hands of municipal police. SWAT teams of police in full riot gear, bristling with automatic weapons, pointed at a lone protestor with hands up. Have we become a police state? Americans now have yet another Read on →
It is not just the criminal justice system that needs fixing. Over two decades ago I first wrote an Op Ed piece on the value of a human life. The focus was that in this society we continue to value a human life on a sliding scale with white males at the top and black males at the bottom. Yes, our societal norms have changed over the centuries since the first Africans were brought to the shores of the Americas, but have our values, especially in terms of valuing human life, changed. If you look at what is taking place today, Read on →
When he gasped to take a breath and to stop swearing in his fractured English, he told her he had a “fucking shit life” and that she was a filthy whore who would die a horrid death. Spitting out more vitriol with each breath, he finished his rant by saying, “You will lose this war.” Perhaps time will, if it hasn’t already, prove him right. Certitude rang out from this Algerian jihadist who had been captured by Afghanistan’s tribal Northern Alliance shortly after the American onslaught following 9/11 . At this point, however, the “interview” was concluded when she said, “That may be, but your Read on →