Thursday, March 05, 2009

Legislature: Not a cent for children's health needs, but lots of dough for pet projects

Joan Barron reports in today's Casper Star-Tribune that Gov. Freudenthal is "puzzled at the overall thrust of the legislative session that wraps up tonight."

He said he was disappointed that the Wyoming House last week rejected a bill to set up a health care reform pilot program financed with tobacco fund money, and another proposal for $90,000 to expand the children's health insurance program.

"I think there's some ideological stuff going on, particularly in the House. They want to meddle in your personal life. Somehow the government can do that, but it can't help kids get insurance," Freudenthal said. "That doesn't fit for me, particularly when we are heading into these economic times."

He said health care costs are not coming down, which is he why he liked the health care reform pilot program. The pilot may not have worked but it could have provided the state with information about what might work, he said. "I don't know if it's just ideologically without rudder and it's just kind of the winds and the mood of the House or whether there's a purpose," he added.

The Legislature, dominated by Republicans, spent an inordinate amount of time on some of the Far Right's favorite topics -- gay rights (very much against), guns (FOR!), abortion (against) and "fetal rights" (FOR!). They socked away more money that we don't have, as budget surplusses have shriveled with falling energy prices. But it's more important for Republicans to sock away money than to spend it on children's health needs.

Sk(r)ewed priorities.

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