Thursday, December 29, 2011

N.C. Health Choice Ensnares More Dependents Through Federal Grants

The state of North Carolina has found another federal government “gift” to add to its coffers. This time the graft is designed to ensnare as many citizens as possible into a specious health insurance scheme. And how did the Tar Heel state come into this taxpayer largess?

The state has earned a $21 million bonus from the federal government for enrolling more children in a public-private health insurance program and making it easier for them to stay in it.

North Carolina was one of 23 states sharing $296 million in bonuses awarded for cutting application paperwork and exceeding enrollment targets.

N.C. Health Choice, the state version of the national Children's Health Insurance Program, enrolls about 150,000 children, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. That's up from about 134,000 in 2010.

The program offers free or reduced-price insurance to children whose parents cannot afford private insurance. It was approved in 1997 and was reauthorized in 2009.

This shouldn’t be something to brag about. Especially, since our national debt will soon exceed $16 trillion. And what are the qualifications for this subsidy?

The state does not require in-person interviews, which federal officials said are difficult for working parents to schedule.

North Carolina, like most other states, does not consider a family's assets, other than income, when determining children's eligibility.

"We know the only way children can succeed in education is if they show up to school healthy and ready to learn," said Mark Johnson, a spokesman for Gov. Bev Perdue.

"The Governor has made expanding health care coverage for eligible children a high priority in her administration, and today's announcement shows that work has paid off."

This is a system ripe for fraud and corruption. Instead of trying to provide an environment of opportunity and self-reliance, we have a bunch of politicians who’re thumping their chest over adding more dependents on the government dole. That’s nothing to be proud of.


No comments: