Monday, April 21, 2014

Binges of Madison County

Pillars of the Community, Madison County, 1939, via Shorpy. Always a false front.
Ohai, Heritage, whassup?
Wow, it's been a while! Glad to see you're still on your game and all. And tell us all about Madison County, Alabama, and its tragically dispossessed widows?
Madison County Commissioner Roger Jones said no one realized just how much the new federal health care law would change things, especially for the spouses of some of his former employees.
“What I’m trying to do is get this coverage back to them,” said Jones. “A lot of these people are on fixed incomes. Some of them are living on Social Security and very little else, and health insurance is very important to them.”
The widows who were dropped in January had always been covered under the county’s old self-insured health care plan. But officials told WHNT News 19 that the program had to be abandoned when they were informed that new mandates in Obamacare would amount to an extra $25 million per year, money that Madison County Chairman Dale Strong said the county simply doesn’t have. Instead, commissioners decided to join a statewide insurance network that 50 other county governments also participate in.
Aw, Roger, what a mensch you are!

Only here's the funny thing, according to Dr. Google: when the Madison County Commission dropped that self-insurance plan for its employees (in which they could decide to cover whoever they wanted, including the widows of defunct employees) and moved to the Local Government Health Insurance Plan (LGHIP), cutting about 25% of the county's health insurance costs (from something over $18 million to $13.5 million), it was in the budget resolution of September 2012, and they didn't say one word about Obamacare then! Or any $25-million increase in something or other either.

They were all like, uh,
"$5 million could give all employees a 10 percent raise," Commissioner Faye Dyer said.
And when one lone commissioner, Bob Harrison, objected and said the new insurance plan, with its higher payments for dental and vision care and drugs, and other unspecified extra inconveniences for the benficiaries, was going to be a step backward,
[Chairman Mike] Gillespie and Commissioners Roger Jones and Dale Strong said that the new insurance plan isn't perfect, but it's the best available option.

"I don't think this is a step backward," Gillespie said.

Strong said he wants to "look out for employees. I also have to look out for the taxpayers of Madison County."
Only now, I guess, as it starts kicking in a year and a half later, folks don't like it so much, especially widows, so what are we going to do? #BlameObama! And yet another Health Care Horror Story bites the dust.
Madison County Commission. Bob Harrison, the guy who refused to vote to degrade the county workers' health insurance coverage, is at bottom right. Probably some kind of God-damned liberal, right?

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