Teachers’ Healthcare Benefits on the Single Payer Chopping Block

Cacomela

Plan Would Cut Teachers’ Benefits by $39 million

It looks like Vermont’s move to a single payer healthcare system will cost Vermont teachers a whole lot more than the $105,000 their union dumped (inexplicably!) into the single payer advocacy organization Vermont Leads. It looks like it could cost them their healthcare benefits.

A new report done for the Vermont School Boards Association (VSBS) by the lobbying firm KSE Partners calls for moving to single payer and moving teachers away from the plans they have now and into the Vermont Health Connect “gold” plan – a collective reduction in benefits amounting to $39 million that will help reduce property taxes.

The goal of single payer healthcare reform in this respect according to Steve Dale of the VSBA is to reduce teacher health care benefits so that they “are more in line with the majority of Vermonters.” Such a reduction in benefits, says Dale, “…likely will result in substantial savings.”

Of course it would!

The KSE study notes that the Vermont Health Connect Gold Plan isn’t even the best benefits package offered through the insurance exchange, but teachers should be consoled by the fact that they would still have “coverage equal to or better than 86% of all Vermonters who receive coverage through the exchange.”

Sounds fair. And Vermont teachers should not complain because YOU ASKED FOR THIS.

In the June 2014 edition of NEA Today, Vermont NEA president Martha Allen is quoted in an article titled Vermont and its Educators Lead the Way on Single Payer, “Many people may have been surprised and a little curious (to hear) Vermont-NEA was backing the move toward universal, publicly funded health care. After all, the thinking goes, members of the state’s largest union already have comprehensive and affordable health insurance, so why on earth would they support Vermont’s efforts to become the first U.S. state to go down this road?”

It’s a good question considering where that road is leading — to teachers no longer having comprehensive, affordable health insurance. Here’s an answer  (not Allen’s): The Vermont NEA is loyal not to its members, but to a left wing political agenda and a Democrat party for which it is perfectly willing to sacrifice its members’ interests.

So remember Vermont teachers, when your healthcare benefits are sacrificed on the alter of single payer healthcare, you’re only getting what your union dues  paid for.

- Posted by Rob Roper, president of the Ethan Allen Institute (www.ethanallen.org)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ed Webbley October 29, 2014 at 2:13 am

Is this what the Governor gets for supporting the VEA on Agency Fees? Maybe the only time I have been able to make sense of something from the EAI.

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
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