Don't believe the moralistic posturing of the Republican Senators on the Senate Finance Committee. Red States are Deadbeats. They depend on Blue States support them, allowing them to live above their means. Only one of the states that voted against Obama in the last election gets less back from federal taxes than it pays in. That state is Texas. The rest are on the dole. And even gilded Texas contributes less per dollar than 15 other states that are all Democratic.
The real "income redistribution" issue in this country is not between rich and "poor" (aka :"minorities," "slackers," "aliens," "my ex-girlfriend," "pinko commies" etc) BUT between Democratic states and Republican states. It's not about the "irresponsible poor" or the feckless uninsured but about corruption, greed, quackery and deception so bold it does not shy from declaring the Bible to be Too Liberal.
What makes this situation utterly tragic is that there are states with large Democratic majorities (such as California and Illinois) that are suffering under the current arrangement. They contribute disproportionately to other states when their own populations could benefit from improved health access and quality.
When the Senators on the Finance Committee who represent Red States claim to be worried about going bankrupt, don’t believe then. When they say their people's health care will be worse, don’t believe them. When they say reform will take away their freedoms of their people, don’t believe them. Instead, check out the facts.
The sort order for the table below is the one I find most helpful, Party designation first (by whether they voted for Obama in 2008) and then by RR or Redistribution Ratio -- based on how much of each State's federal dollars (collected as revenue) are returned to the State. This data is from The Tax Foundation and is from 2005, the last year available.
Key dependent variables are the measure of health quality from the Agency of Health Quality and Research and measures such as the percentage of people uninsured in the state. Other data is provided because it is mitigating or explanatory. Examples are cost-of-living adjustment and average Medicaid payment per enrollee. Check out Arizona and Texas' Medicaid payments -- and they complain that doctors don't want to see Medicaid patients!
Also, check out this EXCELLENT resource, published last week by the Commonwealth Fund, Aiming Higher:: Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance, 2009. Go to the fourth page of the Aiming Higher:Executive Summary and Ponder.
Although just the basic "facts" are presented here, I don't know of another source than this that has combined these three vectors on a State-to-State basis:
- Inter-State Redistribution of Federal Tax Collections
- Health Care Quality and
- Financial and Coverage Data.
STATE STATISTICS IN A NUTSHELL
P = (2008) Democrat vs Republican, based on 2008 Presidential vote.
RR = (2005) Redistribution Ratio. The amount of federal tax dollars received per dollar contributed.
Rank = (2005) From lowest to highest Redistribution Ratio.
Quality = (2005) Of health services provided to citizens, derived from data available from HHS' Agency for Health Care Quality and Research. [see AHRQ's disclaimer at end of this post.*]
COL = (2008) Cost of Living adjustment.
State Tax = (2008) Average state tax for $60K.
Uninsured = (2008) Percent uninsured.
Medicaid = (2006) Percent on Medicaid.
Mcaid Pymt = (2006) Average Medicaid cost per year per enrollee.
*AHRQ Disclaimer: "Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the electronic documents and resources provided on this Web site. However, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding errors or omissions and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from the use of information contained within.
"AHRQ and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cannot endorse, or appear to endorse, derivative or excerpted materials, and it cannot be held liable for the content or use of adapted products that are incorporated on other Web sites. Any adaptations of these electronic documents and resources must include a disclaimer to this effect."
Kaiser: Statehealthfacts.org is a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and is designed to provide free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data on all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States. Statehealthfacts.org provides the latest data on more than 500 health, health care, and health policy topics, comparable across all states.
Additional data at Auriandra's blog at hy61blues.