The Sacramento Bee: John Chiang: Numbers reveal unfunded health care crisis

BY JOHN CHIANG

A few numbers to remember: 1.9, 72, 24, 92, 25, 67 and 121. No, they are not related to last week’s lotto, nor are they the residual carnage of a Sudoku factory meltdown. But they are important numbers to remember as Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers prepare to tackle a fiscal liability that rivals or surpasses the size of its more high-profile cousins – the state’s unfunded pension liabilities. If left unaddressed, it will sow the seeds of a future budgetary crisis.

The state of California, like many governments, provides health care to its retirees. What the state does not have, regrettably, is a fiscally prudent plan for how to fund these benefits in a manner that minimizes costs for taxpayers and the civic workforce that serves them.

Instead, we pay the minimum amount due each year, or $1.9 billion. This is just enough to cover the state’s portion of annual premiums. As with only making the minimum payment on your credit cards while continuing to recklessly charge away, the shortcoming of this approach is that the debt will keep growing and, eventually, crowd out the household’s ability to pay for other vital needs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services
  • St. Barnabas Senior Services

%d bloggers like this: