O.C. Supervisors enjoy free health insurance, while many residents go without

In the midst of the Bush Depression, we now know that there are 12 elected officials in the County of Orange who get 100 percent FREE health insurance premiums paid for by us – the taxpayers!  And not just for themselves, but also for their dependents, according to the O.C. Register.

How do the rest of the county workers fare?  They 95 percent of their own health insurance paid for, and the taxpayers cover 75 percent of the bill for their dependents.

In 2009, it will cost us $140,167 to pay for the elected officials’ health insurance premiums.  That works out to $11,681 per elected official, which would be typical for a family of four.

Free health insurance is the tip of the iceberg for our County elected officials. They also get $765 a month car allowances, $3,000 a year in reimbursable professional and educational expenses and, for supervisors, $143,031 base salaries.

How does all these perks compare with our average county residents, or especially with our working poor?

“The Orange County Health Needs Assessment reports that while the county’s rate of uninsurance has fallen since 2001, the percentage of uninsured Latinos and Vietnamese has increased. And according to a UCLA Center for Health Policy Research analysis of the California Health Interview Survey data, only six California counties have a greater percentage of children who are uninsured than Orange County. What is more, the county’s community clinics, which provide a safety net for the uninsured, are overloaded,” according to the Irvine Health Foundation.

Here is some more information about poverty in Orange County, from the Irvine Health Foundation’s website:

Long considered to be a stronghold for the middle class, there are signs that Orange County is becoming a region of extremes, with the very rich and very poor clustered at opposite ends of the socio-economic spectrum. During the 1990s the gap between the rich and the poor in Orange County widened while the number of residents in poverty grew 44 percent. Overall, Orange County’s median family income declined 3.2 percent to $64,611 as statewide incomes rose 0.2 percent to $53,025.

Illustrative of the bottom end of the continuum is the county seat. According to a 2004 Rockefeller Institute of Government study, Santa Ana topped the list of the nation’s 86 largest cities as having the highest level or urban hardship, a rating based on factors such as income, education, and housing conditions. The city’s per capita income of $12,152 is less than half that of Orange County ($25,826) as a whole, and nearly 20 percent of its residents live below the federal poverty level. Santa Ana also has the highest percent of population over age 25 without a high-school education in the U.S. (56 percent).

I wonder if Santa Ana residents will still vote for Supervisor Janet Nguyen in four years, when they hear about how greedy she and the other Supervisors are?

Considering the tough times we are in, it is time for our County elected officials to stop ripping us off!  They should not be getting 100% free health insurance.  They should not be getting an outrageous $765 a month car allowance.  And they should not be getting $3,000 bonuses, which are hidden as education reimbursement.

All of our County Supervisors are supposed to be conservative Republicans.  Most of the other overpaid County elected officials are also Republicans, except for the County Assessor and County Clerk Recorder Tom Daly.  I think Daly needs to give back these perks if he expects to get elected to replace Supervisor Chris Norby at the end of his term.

I encourage our readers who are Republicans to quit the GOP today and join the Libertarian Party.  Then be sure to send a note to OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh and let him know why you quit his deplorable party.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.