Leaving The Least Among Us Behind - TYC & CHIP

Posted in Health Care, The Budget, 80th Legislature at 10:05 am by wcnews

There’s been little coverage of the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) scandal here at EOW and it’s mainly because so many other blogs have been doing a great job with the coverage. This is a horrible scandal. The people that were entrusted to “rehabilitate” troubled youth were the one’s that wound up abusing them and making things much, much worse. Again, it was a lack of caring about the least among us, or as Kuff correctly calls it indifference. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.

The reason it’s again, is because this was done four years ago, as well, when CHIP funding and many other social services were cut so we didn’t have to raise taxes to make up for a budget deficit. Now with a budget surplus, created as a result of those cuts, we cannot “afford” to fully restore that funding because property tax cuts take priority over funding health care for children, CHIP expansion could reduce other help.

A proposal to cover more youngsters under the Children’s Health Insurance Program could come at a cost to other services for needy Texans.

House budget writers, in order to find nearly $78 million more in state funds for the proposed CHIP expansion, whittled proposed increases in other social services, including mental-health care and breast and cervical cancer screening.

A vast majority of Texans would be willing to “whittle-down” the mere pittance of a property tax “swap” they received in order to pay for those much needed health care services. Rep. Gattis disagress.

Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown, the Appropriations Committee member seeking to balance competing needs in the social services budget, said the decisions are difficult. The committee can allocate about $1 billion in new state money for such programs, Gattis said, on top of the $1.7 billion proposed state increase for health and human services already in the starting-point base budget.

Despite billions in new revenue, much is spoken for to pay for items including a cut in local school property tax rates.

“We’re going to treat this just like a family … budget. You have a finite number of dollars. If you fund one thing, that means you don’t fund something else,” Gattis said. “We’re not just going to go out and say, ‘We need more money’ and grab more money from the taxpayers of Texas.”

Rep. Gattis for his part is just doing what Republicans do, tax “swaps”. Especially from the rich onto the backs of the poor and middle class. In that respect he should be commended for his party loyalty. But as Kuff points out family budgets are really don much differently than a state budget and he’s not the only one to blame. Those Craddick D’s have deserve plenty of blame too. and we’re still waiting for the softer gentler Tom Craddick to show up.

Just to reiterate, what Gattis is saying is that there’s nothing in the budget that’s more important than the money to fund the property tax cuts. They will spare no expense to ensure those cuts are fully implemented. Everything else is secondary, and will have to fight among themselves for whatever is left over. If this really were a family budget, this discussion would be about how to allocate insufficient funds for food, clothing, utilities, and rent after we’ve set aside money for that tricked-out Hummer we’re going to buy. And on that note, here’s Rep. Garnet Coleman explaining how the money is being spent.

One more thing:

Turner said, “I have been around here long enough to know we will fund what we want. What we view as a priority, we will fund. … When taking care of our children becomes a priority, we will fund that as well.”

Oh, if only there were some way to influence Speaker Craddick about this. If only, if only.

Sylvester and his Craddick supporting crew was told us that because of their support for Tom Craddick this time it would be different. Well, not so much.

What this tells us is what most of us already knew, compassion and Republican or conservative if you will are antonyms. And these people who profess to be Christians need to remember this, “..whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » Burka Tries To Tell Democrats What’s Good For Them said,

    April 25, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    […] horrible mistake. In his estimation the Democrats have so far had a good session, even though they CHIP has not been reinstated, the System Benefit Fund has not been reinstated, a horrendous voter IDiocy […]

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