In One Eye

Friday, June 27, 2003
The state's budget fiasco doesn't get any less ridiculous.
[S]tate lawmakers said Thursday that they were still hoping for a bipartisan budget deal by Monday.

But the governor's budget chief, Marc Ryan, warned that legislative leaders could be overly optimistic in believing an agreement can be reached before the fiscal year ends.

"It all depends on what we do tomorrow and how flexible we are," said Ryan, emerging from about three hours of talks with Democratic and Republican lawmakers at the Capitol. "The truth is, we're not that close."
"How flexible we are"? What does that mean? Here's a clear case when he says "we" and means "they." What a cretin.

Meanwhile an op-ed piece in the Courant has to do with the inappropriateness of a portion of the budget.
The proposed budget cuts to the state's HUSKY health insurance program are neither good fiscal policy nor good public policy ...

[T]he governor and some legislative leaders are considering making deeper cuts to these health benefits and patterning the program on commercial insurance plans by reducing services and adding co-pays and premiums. They claim that HUSKY's benefits are no longer affordable and the program's costs are running out of control.

That's not what the numbers suggest. An analysis by the Children's Health Council proves HUSKY to be one of the smartest investments the state has made. In fact, the program is a much better bargain for the state than commercial plans. For example, the average annual cost of insuring HUSKY families is $1,730 per person, compared with $2,715 for commercial plans in the Northeast.
It's clear that this plan is being delivered to private plans simply because they are private plans.

Such palm greasing is apparent in Washington (cf., Halliburton, et al) and now is becoming standard operating procedure in Connecticut.