Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

July 18, 2012

COLUMN: Medicaid tactic needs revision in state

— Our governor announced that he will not expand Medicaid to cover the 2 million Texans who are so poor they qualify for Medicaid under the new Affordable Healthcare Law. He also said he will not form a private insurance exchange that would provide health insurance for an additional 4 million Texans who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but cannot afford or have no access to private insurance. His failure to expand Medicaid is totally without financial sanity.

This act is plain stupid, considering the federal government will pay 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion for the first three years and 90 percent of the cost for the next seven years. That means Texas will pay about $10 billion and the federal government will pay about $112 billion to Texas over the next 10 years.

I know exactly who these uninsured people are. I spent over 20 years as a health insurance agent who failed to provide affordable health insurance for the 6 million people who qualify for these new programs. Contrary to popular belief, they are not shiftless bums living on welfare. They are working families who are self-employed or work for small companies which cannot possibly afford employee group health insurance. Some workers do have group insurance on themselves, but since few small employers contribute to family coverage, they cannot afford to cover their families.

Many older Texans have no idea what family medical insurance costs now. Just a minimal policy could take between one-fourth to one-half of millions of workers monthly take home pay. And if any family member has a serious pre-existing condition that cost could double, if they can find an insurer who will accept them.

The governor’s refusal to form a state private health insurance exchange may be a blessing in disguise for Texas’ 4 million working families. Under the new health insurance law, if a state fails to form and administer one, the federal government will create and administer an exchange. Considering Texas’ incredible mismanagement of current public health programs, I would be overjoyed to see the federal government administer all medical care provided by taxpayers.

We recently had an example of how Texas administers the present Medicaid dental orthodontics program for poor children. It was revealed that Texas had spent as much on children’s orthodontics in a year as all the other 49 states combined. We taxpayers have made millionaires of dentists who provided unnecessary, shoddy dental work. This is what happens when unqualified, negligent or dishonest people administer public money. Although the federal government pays for most of Medicaid, it is administered by the states.

Also, the governor and legislature lied to voters when they said they balanced the state budget in the last session. To conceal this lie, they just underfunded the states present share of Medicaid by pushing $5 billion of presently required funding to the next two year state budget. This would be fine, except they did not even suggest where the next legislature could find the $5 billion owed and an additional $5 billion for the next two years.

I am most dismayed that many Texans support his contempt for the poor. How can people who boast about this being a Christian state and nation still support the totally un-Christian acts of their elected representatives? How can the people of a rich state, with one out of four residents without access to medical care call themselves Christians? Especially, when we will only have to pay less than 10 cents on the dollar to provide almost universal medical care.

Don’t forget these federal dollars are collected from us Texans, too, and will go to some other state if we don’t do the right thing. Those federal dollars would also go back into our state economy through doctors, nurses, technicians, hospitals, clinics, labs and drug sales. What state could turn down a 900 percent return on money invested in its own residents, while helping to balance the state budget?

Dennis Tilly is a Weatherford resident.

1
Text Only
Viewpoints
  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Concern for your pocketbooks

    Dear Editor: My message today is to Democrats out in Parker County and the middle class and moderate-income Republicans in towns and rural areas. 

    July 27, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Taking care of your tools

    For much of my life I’ve heard the saying, “Take care of your tools, and your tools will take care of you.”  In our modern “throw away world” this has become much less important than it used to be, but down on the “pore farm,” tools still enjoy a prominent position in my daily life.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The greatest joy of all: Jesus

    The first part of this week was a joyous one for me. I took 10 youth to Lake Mineral Wells State Park for three days of day camping. Camp Adventure was the name of the camp. We discovered the joy of the One who created us: Jesus. I am sitting at my desk on the day after the camp writing this article. I am overjoyed by the events of the week, and yet I am physically exhausted. The Lord moved powerfully among our youth.

    July 26, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Now is the time for all good men...

    When man’s greed, desire for riches, power and control of our nation become greater than their love of humanity and our country, by constantly fomenting discord and hate among the citizens, warmongering and constantly talking of wars against other nations - it is putting political ideology before the welfare of citizens and country. It is time for We the People to take a good look at these men involved - no matter their status in our nation, we call the United States of America and decide whether or not they deserve the privilege and sanctuary of our nation.

    July 25, 2014

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Finding a church

    God commands His people to “keep holy the Sabbath Day.” The “Sabbath Day” was changed by the apostolic church to the first day, Sunday. The church refers to every Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a professing Christian will seek to find a local church in which to invest in the kingdom and worship the King! 

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s your current address?

    Shortly after we moved to Weatherford 19 years ago, the old post office (today’s Court Building) that was literally bursting at the seams was replaced by a new, larger facility – our present mail center that sometimes seems outgrown as we stand in line to buy stamps or mail a package.  

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Good company, better service

    We would like to thank Devin’s Handyman Service, Gary Boase, David Schramm and James Reed for the wonderful job they did repainting our front fence, front porch, back porch, patio and deck. Everything looks new and makes such a difference in our home.

    July 23, 2014

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church

    Do you enjoy going to church? I mean, do you really enjoy going to church? No matter how you answer, there are some common reasons — or perhaps we would call them conditions — that would cause all of us to truly enjoy going to church. 

    July 20, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Don't judge a book...

    Dear Editor: Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when state representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.

    July 20, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: The blessing of memories

    Many years ago, shortly after I retired from the navy, I was sitting around shooting the breeze with my brother David, when he remarked that he regretted never serving in the military and experiencing the things I had seen. Like most of our farmer ancestors, he spent his entire life within five miles of where he grew up. Not unlike our parents, he could also count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he had even been out of the state of Texas and probably have digits to spare.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage