Texas Lawmakers Short Term Moralistic Law Leads to Long Term Funding Issues

When state lawmakers passed a two-year budget in 2011 that moved $73 million from family planning services to other programs, the goal was largely political: halt the flow of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood clinics.

Now they are facing the policy implications — and, in some cases, reconsidering.The latest Health and Human Services Commission projections being circulated among Texas lawmakers indicate that during the 2014-15 biennium, poor women will deliver an estimated 23,760 more babies than they would have, as a result of their reduced access to state-subsidized birth control. The additional cost to taxpayers is expected to be as much as $273 million — $103 million to $108 million to the state’s general revenue budget alone — and the bulk of it is the cost of caring for those infants under Medicaid.

via Likely Increase in Births Has Some Lawmakers Revisiting Cuts – NYTimes.com.

This is a good example of bad governance.  Texas legislators took their hatred of Planned Parendhood and gutted the funding for it…which is the main source of birth control for lower income citizens.

Without that birth control, more folks who already are under severe financial pressure with find themselves under even more severe financial pressure, which is where social services have to be increased to pick up the slack.

Short-sighted moralistic laws are never a good idea.   This serves as the next real-world example of that truism.

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Thank You Michelle

Obesity rates in American children are falling for the first time http://m.now.msn.com/obesity-rates-in-american-children-are-falling-for-the-first-time

Break out the fruit smoothies, today American kids can celebrate the first drop in childhood obesity for 30 years. OK, it’s not a huge drop, but it shows that nixing school soda machines, unplugging the deep fryer and swapping whole milk for skim is working. The number of obese kids has fallen 5.5 percent in New York City, 5 percent in Philadelphia and 3 percent in Los Angeles. Researchers accustomed to data showing kids were ballooning were so surprised they actually thought the data was flawed. So kids, it’s time to stop whining about Michelle Obama’s lunchtime starvation plan and smile as you squeeze yourself into a pair of skinny jeans instead of an oversized Santa suit this holiday.

If we didn’t have.our obesity problem, we wouldn’t have out diabetus “epidemic” and our long term public health care costs picture looks much rosier. As far as a functioning society goes, having healthy kids gets you a long way closer to that goal.