Friday, October 20, 2006

Kinky has a good health-care plan

I'm admittedly impressed by Kinky's detailed policy statement on health care in Texas, regardless of it having been modelled after another state (knowing who to emulate is an important part of success). Jobsanger has a summary and a link to Kinky's PDF.

I've got some questions though:

  • On CHIP:
    • Kinky's statement says: "Because TexasCare will take time to implement, Friedman said he would call for the immediate and full restoration of funding for the state’'s Children Health Insurance Program, which has seen dramatic budget cuts since 2003."
    • Jobsanger says Kinky plans to: "Restore full funding for the state's Children Health Insurance Program, until TexasCare is up and running."
    • But financing CHIP earns matching federal dollars, so we've been losing "free" money by not investing more into this program. Is Kinky suggesting CHIP is a good stopgap measure or an important ongoing part of TexasCare?
  • On reproductive health:
    • Reproductive health education and access to affordable prenatal care is a crucial first step in ensuring the health of our state's children, but I missed any mention of this topic.
    • Likewise family planning is an important part of helping ensure children are raised in a supportive environment both financially and emotionally. Does Kinky have a plan to ensure people aren't discriminated against for seeking Plan B at Walgreens or emergency contraceptive at a hospital? And for supporting the planned part of Planned Parenthood, and other means of reducing abortion? Somebody needs to publicly acknowledge that pro-lifers and pro-choicers do have one thing in common, which is that we all strongly wish to reduce abortion rates, and there are many things we can do together to accomplish this.
  • On emergency room overcrowding:
    • It seems to me to be commonly agreed that emergency room overcrowding is exacerbated by families with no health care (some times to avoid issues of legality) that have no access to preventative care. Does he feel his plan helps address this?
    • This overcrowding includes women who go into labor and have had little to no interaction with an OBGYN or prenatal care, have little to no records, and are not prepared for the challenge of birthing. Again, education and preventative care are both crucial here.
    • Lastly this problem of ER overcrowding has been identified as resulting from unavailability of family practitioners in off-hours and weekends. Is this something caused by the health care industry, insurance industry, or something that the state can address?
Okay, I'm done. I'm pleased that there's a plan from Kinky that I can attempt to analyze, since his platform has been very general (unique, but unspecific) on most topics. This should definitely get others talking more.