Sunday, November 22, 2009

Healthy Howard

It is becoming clear that most of the County Council does not understand the Healthy Howard Access Plan. They seem to be judging it on its intent, not its actual benefits. To his credit, Greg Fox is only person that seems to have a reasonable stance:

At the breakfast, Fox criticized Ulman's launching new initiatives such as the Healthy Howard program for the uninsured, Fox's favorite fiscal whipping-boy. The program has received $1 million in county funds over two years.

After listening to council Chairwoman Mary Kay Sigaty, a West Columbia Democrat, praise the slow-starting health program for identifying more than 1,000 applicants who turned out to be eligible for existing insurance programs and for being "innovative" and "fabulous," Fox's retort was a laugh line.

The software used to find the 1,000 applicants health insurance cost $68,000 and, according to Healthy Howard, has a useful life of 5 years. Therefore, the major benefit Sigaty is speaking of that Healthy Howard has produced has an annual cost of about $13,600. The remaining $500,000 that was spent by Healthy Howard (with another $500,000 committed for the following fiscal year) has essentially gone to support the bureaucracy that is Healthy Howard.

So when supporters of Healthy Howard talk about all the people that HHAP as hooked up with government subsidized insurance, just know that the cost of those activities represent less than 3% of the $500,000 the county has given HHAP for a year's worth of operations.

Also, we will probably see some higher tax rates to pay for the influx of people into the subsidized insurance programs.


Anonymous said...

Fodder for bloggers:

Per a Sunday morning news program a populist wave of Andrew Jackson proportions is heading straight for incumbents when bonuses for bailed out (failed) organizations are announced.

On the local front, GGP is leading the pack with 47 million staked out to reward those who made sketchy decisions leading to bankruptcy.

Even more local, you might not know unless you read that a dog was gunned down in Columbia while running away from an off duty police officer who was walking his dogs in the deceased dog's yard.

Non-incumbents Maryann Maher (D, running for State Delegate) and Anthony Jordan (R, running for county council) had functions over the past one week. If someone was there, it would be good to hear the happenings.

And lastly, resident's rights continue to be rebuffed in arrogantly overt ways one of which is the contemptuous disregard for voting rights via referendum.

Populist wave indeed. Tsunami.

Anonymous said...

It's a mistake for republicans to limit their sound bite to a laser tight focus on health care.

Lots of people want it. R's aren't winning friends this way.

Also, there are many many worse wastes that would lasso supporters for republicans. The more egregious wastes aren't being discussed, and that is a mistake.