What?

This component of the RI House budget plan is nuts:

he plan also includes funding for 100 of 400 slots slated to be eliminated from the early childhood education program, Head Start. In addition, the budget restores health care coverage for all but 1,000 of more than 7,000 adults slated to lose coverage under a plan released by Governor Carcieri earlier in the year. …
… it generates $5.6 million in new revenue by increasing the health insurer tax on medical premiums from 1.1 percent to 1.4 percent. Costantino said he hoped the increase wouldn’t be passed on to health care consumers, although that’s what happened when the tax was expanded last year. The tax, previously only applied to health insurers, would now apply to Delta Dental as well.

So the budget will continue to pay for the healthcare of a few thousand adults who can’t afford it, but it most definitely increase the price paid by everybody else. It would seem that the state’s budget is not constructed with much by way of strategy — instead by picking and choosing various numbers to call the result “balanced.”

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Ken
Ken
12 years ago

Justin,
Some of these programs might be matching federal funds. If you eliminate or not fund the programs to a certain level you will loose matching federal funds that might also be tied to other related programs.
If RI looses the federal funds, RI might not ever get the funds back which then means it comes out of local taxpayer increased taxes.

Will
12 years ago

“Costantino said he hoped the increase wouldn’t be passed on to health care consumers, although that’s what happened when the tax was expanded last year.”
Corporation, for profit or non-profit in reality do not pay taxes. All costs eventually are born by the end consumer. This is a stealth tax increase.
The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

Don’t forget that the thousands of adults are enrolled in the Schip program. That’s State CHILDREN’S Health Insurance Program.
The GA missed the CHILDREN part!

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

Yes, it’s a tax increase on health insurance, but it’s needed to pay for state employees.
Did anyone else read the list of budget changes posted on the Projo website?
Notice how it says the budget cuts 1 of 5 full-time jobs from the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner? The only problem is that it goes on to say that by law there are only supposed to be a total of 3 full-time jobs in that entire Office!

Monique
12 years ago

“The only problem is that it goes on to say that by law there are only supposed to be a total of 3 full-time jobs in that entire Office!”
Geez, no wonder we got budget problems.

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

Anthony,
They got around that by making sure that no more then three of them are WORKING at any given moment.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

Monique, hey I was still trying to figure out why we pay for both an Insurance Commissioner AND a Health Insurance Commissioner.
What’s next? A Flood Insurance Commissioner? An Auto Insurance Commissioner? A Homeowner’s Insurance Commissioner? A Life Insurance Commissioner?
How come larger states have one insurance commissioner but we need more than one? And then we go ahead and overstaff the second one.
Greg–good point.

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