Civitas Review

Federal Government Expanding its Hold on State Health Care

By | Posted in Healthcare |

Another federal aid program created… add it to the long list.

The State Health Access Program (SHAP) is a grant awarding program run by the Department of Health and Human Services.  The same program boasts the creation of such “winners” as TennCare – a program which has been cited as an example of what NOT to do in health care reform.  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced last week $70.9 million would be disbursed to 13 states for the expansion of health care coverage to the uninsured population.

North Carolina will receive $17.5 million over the next 5 years to support the program which will target uninsured low-income parents.  The program will be administered by N.C. Rural Health and Community Care and the Division of Medical Assistance.  The goal is to provide insurance to 1500 families in the next 5 years, and parents who apply must prove their children are enrolled in Medicaid, SCHIP, or private insurance.

The grant requires a 20 percent match of funds by the state; and the expectation is that the program will continue to be sustained by the state once the federal funding is depleted. In other words, one more taxpayer liability – as if North Carolinians weren’t already up to their necks in new taxes.  However it doesn’t end there; enrollment could quickly swell over capacity, which could also lead to future disenrollment, benefit cuts and higher health care costs for all.

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