Earlier this year the General Assembly put $20 million in the budget to subsidize purchase of health insurance for small business. It was a glimpse into what socialized healthcare will look like in this country: you pay for your own health coverage and your tax dollars go to pay for everyone else.
The good news is that we aren't going to wind up spending much of the money. Less than 500 individuals are in the program now after a month of accepting applications and six months of promotion prior to that.
Applications for the subsidy are trickling in, but it is very likely that when the program sunsets at the end of the biennium, much of the $20 million will remain unspent. Good.
We still have a screaming need for real insurance reform in this state. Regulation should be reduced to three words: follow your contract. If we stopped telling insurance companies how to write their contracts and focused oversight on ensuring that companies kept whatever promises they made in their contracts, costs would go down and we wouldn't need $20 million for subsidies that are too small for people to bother signing up for.