The Boulder Daily Camera published my article criticizing Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 11-213. Here are the first and last paragraphs:
“Let them drink beer, while you pay.” This is how Colorado taxpayers should interpret Governor Hickenlooper’s recent veto of Senate Bill 213. For some families, SB 213 would have increased the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) enrollment fee to $20 per month. This is what the lowest income U.S. households spend on alcohol.
CHP+ officials will soon propose changes to CHP+ fees and possibly co-payments, which are also extremely low. Maintaining current fees would not only be an injustice to taxpayers, but also an insult to eligible parents. The fees imply that parents value enjoying life’s amenities more than their own children’s health.
Read the whole article in the Boulder Daily Camera.
The Denver Post published my letter to the editor criticizing Governor Hickenlooper’s veto of Senate Bill 11-213:
Re: “Hick’s reason for veto makes sense,” June 2 editorial.
Gov. John Hickenlooper was wrong to veto Senate Bill 213, which would have increased Child Health Plan Plus premiums for families earning more than twice the federal poverty level. Enrolling one child costs just $25 per year. A Post editorial asked if it was unfair for SB 213 to raise the fee to $20 per month. It’s fair. According to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey, the poorest U.S. households spend on average more than $150 per month on alcohol, tobacco, sweets and entertainment.
What’s unfair is that Colorado compels taxpayers to fund a program that allows eligible parents to value satisfying bodily appetites more than their children’s health.
This was a very short version of my longer article on the subject, which describes how programs like CHP+ crowds out private insurance. That is, parents stop buying it and sign up for the tax-funded product. Read more:
Colorado Child Health Plan: Parents should value children’s health more than sweets and booze, Health Policy Solutions, May 17; Denver Daily News, May 20.