20 December 2007

New Jersey Is Much Better Than Texas

Texas is the execution capital of the United States. New Jersey abolished capital punishment and commuted the sentences of everyone on its death row earlier this month.

Texas has a rampant problem with children who don't have health insurance. As of January 1, 2008, the State of New Jersey is making health insurance available to every child. The details?

[T]he new program will allow parents, regardless of income, to enroll their children in the state's FamilyCare health insurance plan, which is currently limited to low- and moderate-income families. Parents who earn more than the FamilyCare income threshold will be able to "buy in" to the program, paying a relatively low fee for children's coverage. . . . Between 50,000 and 60,000 uninsured children whose families earn too much for FamilyCare would become eligible for coverage . . . . FamilyCare offers coverage for children in families earning up to 350 percent of the federal poverty level, or $72,275 for a family of four. . . . Children up to age 18 could be enrolled in the buy-in program . . . [which] will help parents who currently have health insurance of their own but cannot afford the roughly $400 a month cost to cover their children.

Families who "buy in" to FamilyCare will pay $137 per month per child, up to a maximum of $411 per month . . . the new program will not increase the state's costs. . . . New Jersey is home to nearly 275,000 uninsured children . . . FamilyCare's income threshold is the highest in the nation for state-subsidized health care, opening it up to more children and some parents. Families earning 200 percent of the poverty level or more pay premiums or co-pays.

As of the end of November, 113,054 children were enrolled in FamilyCare, plus another 84,478 adults, according to the Department of Human Services.

Wisconsin, Illinois and Pennsylvania have similar programs.

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