What’s “Financial Aid” in Spanish?
Consider this vignette from Katherine Gregg’s Projo story on Rhode Island’s misuse of federal healthcare funds:
Emma Villa told the lawmakers what would happen to her, as the operator of a small day-care business in her Laban Street, Providence, home, where she looks after two children in addition to her own.
With the help of a translator, the Spanish-speaking Villa, 40, said: “It is very important that we have health care,” she said, “because we are the ones that hold the entire welfare-to-work system up. If parents, children and those of us who care for them lose our health care, we could face the spread of disease without treatment — maybe even an epidemic…Is that what we really want?”
Without health insurance, Villa said she will have to look for another job and if she is unable to find one with health insurance, she will be forced to seek financial aid from the state for the first time in her 20 years in this country.
The tale of Rhode Island’s woes couldn’t be told with much more concision. Here’s a woman who watches two children as a job (the minimum she can take and receive healthcare), who apparently can’t speak English well enough to be much help to those kids in that regard, and who sees the substantial money that the state pays toward her health insurance as something other than financial aid.
Online details of state financed health insurance are spotty, as far as I’ve been able to see, but assuming that she’s married (which perhaps can’t be assumed), Villa’s entire family could be eligible for RIte Care at a cost to her of $61 per month if their income is up to around $39,000 per year, or free if it is less than around $32,000. At the high end, her family could make over $70,000 per year, and she and her children would still be eligible for the Child Care Provider Rite Care (CCPRC) Program for a monthly cost of $130.
I don’t know what’s standard, out there, but based on the little bit of information I’ve found online (PDF, PDF2, and this), I wouldn’t be surprised if there are Rhode Island taxpayers who make nowhere near that amount and pay $130 per week for a comparable plan.
Villa throws up the specter of an “epidemic” if the healthcare gravy train were to stop, but the real epidemic lies down the path of continued state overspending, increasing taxes, and exodus of its victims.