Monday, January 26, 2009

Garner Plan: Trauma Center Without A Tax Increase

Representative Ed Garner of Little Rock has a trauma system bill which eliminates the weaknesses in the plan Gov. Mike Beebe is pushing for.

Garner's plan would be funded by sending the first $50 of fines collected for offenses that induce medical trauma to fund a trauma system rather than to general revenues. It would add to it a small slice of the taxes already paid on insurance premiums to funding the trauma center rather than general revenues. Since the state currently has a budget surplus in excess of 100 million dollars, the 26 million dollars needed for the system should not impact current funding of government. Tie into the bill a $25 increase in the amount of fines in such instances, and general revenues likely won't take even that much of a hit.

Garner does the math to show that, despite rumors to the contrary, this bill will raise the cash needed to fund the system. It is also a very just policy because the ones who cause the trauma are paying for it.

Garner does the math to show that what Beebe is proposing to fund the system is a tax that will raise well over 100 million dollars. Part of that higher cost is to pay for the pork that Beebe is attaching to the bills in order to buy votes. The rest of it is an effort to get Federal matching funds for an expansion of health care. I for one would not count on the federal government, currently looking for ways to cut medicare spending, to be in the kind of fiscal health necessary to support those kinds of increases.

Garner responds to claims that his plan is a "half-measure" by going directly at one of the biggest weaknesses in the Beebe plan. "When you can't explain how you fund into the future what you start today, that is a real "half measure"." Garner says.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I'd rather smokers kept their money than it go to the nation's #1 abortion provider -Planned Parenthood. PP already gets $700 million taxpayer dollars a year for their "family planning" "service". I'd say that's already too much.

12:53 PM, January 27, 2009  
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