Sunday, June 29, 2014

Duck, teachers! Here comes the speeding silver bullet of privatization.

Posted By on Sun, Jun 29, 2014 at 4:37 PM

click to enlarge copenhaver-harold.jpg
Here we go. Roby Brock interviews Rep. Harold Copenhaver, a Jonesboro Democrat, who says the legislature will in the future be looking at privatization of school employee health insurance to solve the woes facing the expensive, imploding school side of the state self-insurance system.

Great.

I look forward to the magic math. A legislature that won't spend a dime more on school employees thinks it can cure overpriced, high-deductible school insurance by letting private industry handle it?

Does the legislature really think teachers can get better insurance for the same or less money AFTER the insurance industry takes out a profit margin of 15 percent or so?This is the same bait-and-switch Republicans have been trying to run for years on Medicare and Social Security.

Says Copenhaver (who happens to be in the commercial insurance business):

“Our idea is to look at a large institution, a medium school and a small school [grouping] and see what the private sector would have to offer to those individuals and then put it back to local government,” Copenhaver added. 

Translation: The legislature wants to wash its hands of this mess.

Notice that there's no talk of privatizing the state public employee plan, which, at last count, 82 of the 135 legislators enjoyed for its low, low rates.

Here's how it will go. Rich school districts will do OK by their employees under privatization. Small, poor ones won't.

The system already is withering because high rates have driven people out of the system. The legislature next week will shrink the pool further by tossing spouses and part-timers (though not part-timers, such as legislators, from THEIR system. Or retirees, which is a whole 'mother kettle of subsidized fish and families.)

Why not contribute  the same for insurance for every employee who's dependent on state dollars for their paychecks? That means school employees and public employees would be treated the same. Why is that so hard? (Apart from potential added expense to equalize school employees with part-time legislators.) A single pool would spread the occasional catastrophic expenses over more people.

Here's one metric to consider:

Look at the monthly contributions to the state and school plans for family coverage in the gold, or best, plan.

School employees — $593

Other state employes (think legislators) — $928. (This includes a contribution from reserves.)

Sound fair? Think school rates would be lower if school employees enjoyed the same subsidy?

What do you bet many of the legislators who endorse privatizing school insurance (but not their insurance) in the name of efficiency will say it would be cheaper and more efficient for the state to run its own broadband system for schools rather than farming it out to individual private phone companies district-by-district.

Tags: , ,

Favorite

Speaking of School Employee Health Insurance, Harold Copenhaver

Comments (20)

Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The power down open line and video roundup

    Over to you.
    • Jun 19, 2015
  • AHTD asks Metroplan to lift six-lane freeway cap

    The board of directors of Metroplan has informed the state highway department that it cannot act on the highway department's June 17 request to lift its six-lane freeway cap at the board's June 29 meeting. Consideration of the request should take four months, Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher wrote June 22 to highway department Director Scott Bennett.
    • Jun 23, 2016
  • Arkansas conservatives react to same-sex marriage decision

    Jason Rapert, Mike Huckabee, the Meeks bros, Jerry Cox — beyond these extremists, it's hard to find statements from other Arkansas conservatives. That tell you something?
    • Jun 26, 2015

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation