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Friday, August 21, 2009

Here's my fix for Lynch's problem

It slipped under the radar but the Concord Monitor recently ran an opinion piece on how to solve the state's $100 million dollar JUA budget problem. It's such a simple solution that it just might work.
No JUA? Cut health spending increase
By Thomas R. Eaton for the Monitor
August 13, 2009

Recently Judge Kathleen McGuire did something completely expected. She told Gov. John Lynch and the Democrats in the Legislature that their plan to balance the state budget by taking $110 million from the Joint Underwriting Association was unconstitutional.

This has been expected almost from the moment Lynch first proposed taking the money back in February. The JUA is a nonprofit group, not a government agency. The JUA exists solely to supply medical malpractice insurance to private health care providers, not for any governmental purpose. The $110 million is in a fund the JUA maintains to pay its malpractice claims. The money came from insurance premiums paid by JUA members and belongs to them. Not a penny came from the state or from taxpayers.

Ever since the judge released her decision reporters, editors, bloggers and taxpayers across the state have been transfixed by one simple question: Now that the JUA money is off limits, what is plan B to balance the budget? (more)

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