In the heated debates between Radical Republicans and radical healthcare reformers, there’s a lot of static.  The Southern Governors Association brought up a very important issue. What will the changes do to state budgets?

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue said that state governors are 85% in agreement with Obama’s reforms. But, he wants to know Obama’s bottom line on compromise.

The White House didn’t tip it’s poker hand for the great man from Georgia. If there is 85 percent agreement, then the 15% isn’t a deal breaker.

For an example, North Carolina pays $850 million per year for uninsured medical costs. That works out to a $1000 per year “tax” for insured citizens. The White House says the plan would save North Carolina some serious money.

It’s the status quo, she said, that presents clear problems for states. In North Carolina, for example, the state picks up $850 million in uncompensated medical bills for the uninsured, she said. Because the costs are recouped through paying customers, insured North Carolinians pay a “hidden tax” of about $1,000 per person annually. That boosts the costs of state governments and local governments in that state by an additional $59 million a year, DeParle said

Link

Governors are right to worry about their budgets ahead of time. They should have been long before healthcare became such an issue.

To put the “tax” issue on a county level, Hall County’s citizens absorb about $23 million in uninsured healthcare costs, mostly at the only hospital in the county, North Georgia Medical Center. That “tax” works out to a couple hundred dollars per household. There aren’t any figures for what that costs each insured family. Per non-farm employer, it’s over $5,000 per year.

Over 12% of Hall County citizens are below poverty level and 27,000 citizens over the age of 5 are disabled.  Both of those numbers are lower than the rest of the state.

Census QuickFacts

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