Fort Worth Zoological Association qhfricail ‘Safari 22 DAYS DEPARTING JULY 20, 1971 An exciting photo expedition to the game reserves of East and South Africa. $1990.00 All-Inclusive ‘ For complete information and brochure contact: Dallas Travel, Inc. 211 N. Ervay, Dallas 75201 4 because it looks sneaky. The “Clean Water Amendment,” as its proponents call it, would authorize $100 million in waste-water treatment bonds, allow the interest ceiling on state water bonds to be raised and provide for improvement of the “water resources program.” It is the last stipulation that makes me suspicious. P. Burgess Griesenbeck, state coordinator of the Friends of the Earth, warns that the amendment would give the Water Quality Board authority to implement part of the Texas Water Plan. The plan, which voters narrowly defeated two years ago, is a multi-billion-dollar venture to pump water from the Mississippi uphill to Texas via concrete canal. Many ecologists believe the plan would do inestimable damage to the state’s ecosystem. Why float. $100 million in bonds and pay as much as another $100 million in interest to do a job that the Legislature can do by appropriation? Gov. Preston Smith says that the tax bill is going to bring in a couple hundred million dollars more than is needed to finance the state for the next two years. It would cost the state significantly less money if the House-Senate conference committee on the appropriations bill simply included an additional $100 million in the WQB’s budget for waste-water treatment. Cutting costs Back to the subject of welfare: Ben Barnes was greeted with great noddings of heads and gnashings of teeth when he complained recently that Medicaid recipients are receiving “a higher level of medical coverage . . . than is available to other Texans, except the very rich.” Barnes warned that the mushrooming costs of welfare are going to bankrupt the state within two years unless substantial cuts are made in medical assistance for the poor. Our humanitarian lieutenant governor says he is thinking about reducing the number of days a Medicaid recipient could be hospitalized, limiting the cost of hospital rooms for Medicaid patients, making it more difficult for AFDC recipients to get surgery and limiting the amount of money a doctor can get for caring for pregnant women on welfare. Barnes wants to reduce Medicaid costs from 25 to 30% next year. No doubt there are ways to economize on health insurance, but cutting patient services does not seem to be the best way to go about it. The lieutenant governor might look to the report of his own Senate Interim Committee on Welfare Reform for some ideas. The report points out that in 1970 $220.5 million was spent on Medicaid and approximately $100 million of that was paid in premiums to Group Hospital Services, Inc., corporate parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The Senate report says that the state operates under a unique program that the Department of Public Welfare “maintains” carrier contract but the Department of Health, Education and Welfare says is more like a fiscal agent setup. Last year the Senate committee and the Texas Medicaid Program both contracted for studies of the state’s medical assistance program and both studies were highly critical of Group Hospital Services. The Medicaid study by Towers, Perrin, Forster and Crosby said that the company had retained an excessive amount of payments and asked that $1.2 million earned on cash balances be returned. The Senate study by A. S. Hansen, Inc., recommended that the state itself eventually take over the administration of Medicaid. If Barnes is so interested in saving the state some money, he should look into the administration of the program before he starts cutting back on patient care. The state could save millions of dollars a year if it got competent, independent employees to administer the program. The argument has been that the state doesn’t have any experience administering insurance programs, but the state regulates the insurance industry so it must have some experienced officials. Let’s put that experience to work for the state, rather than the insurance industry, for a change. K.N. MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal, no dues. CENTRAL TEXAS ACLU luncheon meeting. Spanish Village. 2nd Friday every month. From noon. All welcome. CLASSIFIED BOOKPLATES. Free catalog. Many beautiful designs. Special designing too. Address: BOOKPLATES, P.O. ‘Box 28-I, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387. ANNE’S TYPING SERVICE: Complete Typing Service and Editing. Duplicating \(printing, multiNotary. Twenty years experience. Call 442-7008 or 442-0170, Austin. WE SELL THE BEST SOUND. Yamaha pianos, guitars; Moeck-Kung-Aulus recorders; harmonicas, kalimbas and other exotic instruments. Amster Music, 1624 Lavaca, Austin. 478-7331. McGOVERN FOR PRESIDENT button \(large or Hand-made paper mobile: $2 each, 3 for $5. Proceeds to campaign McGovern Committee, P. 0. Box 472, Vermillion, S.D., 57069. Contributions welcome. May 21, 1971 13 EUROPE 17 DAYS, $815. Audrey Tippin invites you to join her autumn tour of seven nations. Enjoy Europe at its very best … in the fall. Depart Texas Sept. 10, 1971 For further information and brochure contact: Mrs. Audrey M. Tippen 1855 Wirt Avenue Houston, Texas 77055 Phone 713/464-3903
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