Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

School groups criticize insurance 'fix'

Posted By on Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 7:25 AM

click to enlarge 'EXPENSIVE': Sen. Jim Hendren says the state's insurance 'fix' was expensive. It was indeed. To state employees. But not to the state.
  • 'EXPENSIVE': Sen. Jim Hendren says the state's insurance 'fix' was expensive. It was indeed. To state employees. But not to the state.
John Lyon of Stephens Media rounds up the critical views of school groups of the legislature's recent "fix" to avoid another round of giant increases in health insurance premiums for school employees.

As we've said many times before, it was no fix. Part-time employees were excluded. Participants face killing new deductible levels. The legislature is going to require health savings accounts of certain plans, but ignores the fact that few people have any spare money to put into these savings accounts. It's the same bait-and-switch Republicans have been trying for years on Medicare and Social Security.

Sen. Jim Hendren, who favored throwing people off insurance with the promises they could qualify for the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, is featured again as an opponent of Obamacare. I don't think a suitable adjective has been invented for his dancing around this hypocrisy.

Hendren said decisions had to be made based on the laws that exist today. He said he is focused now on the insurance issue and not on the private option, but he said that when the Legislature revisits the private option in the future, “that’s something that all of have to keep in mind: People who do enroll in that, what are the alternatives going to be?”

The alternatives will be most likely the same ones Hendren offered as he and the bitter enders tried for the second time this year to kill the private option insurance plan: None.

It gets worse. Get a load of this load from Hendren:

Hendren said the Legislature put a bandage on the problem in a special session in October when it “threw money” at it, but he said the new changes, while not a cure-all, are expected to result in $40 million to $50 million a year in ongoing savings and allow school employees to see an aggregate premium increase of 3 percent rather than 35 percent.

“If that’s a Band-Aid, that’s a pretty expensive Band-Aid,” he said.


This is simply dishonest. Most of the savings come from removing people from coverage. Some money also was stolen from school district funds obligated to other purposes. The state's contribution: $0.  Real expensive.

Lyon didn't get into another big cost savings that will create pain for thousands of state employees. That's the end of spousal coverage when spouses have insurance at their places of work. In virtually every case, you must assume it's poorer insurance and/or higher cost. Otherwise, the spouses wouldn't be using state coverage.

Again, it's an expensive Band-Aid. Just not to the state of Arkansas. It's a gaping wound on state employees.


Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Nothing to show for making nice

    I'm at anchor on a ship lying off Grand Turk Island, and I should have known better than to pick up the digital Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, particularly given the painfully slow download time on the ship's satellite Internet. But I did and began a slow burn.
    • Mar 26, 2015
  • A volcanic eruption in the Caribbean: Should Democrats go along?

    A volcanic eruption from the Caribbean: Some Democrat please tell me what's been gained by going along to get along with Republican leadership. A free dinner courtesy of Doyle Webb?
    • Mar 24, 2015
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Cotton speech draws protest

    Protesters greeted Tom Cotton today at an event held by the Foreign Policy Initiative, the neocon think tank founded by Cotton cheerleaders Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, called (of course) "Will Congress provide for the Common Defense? National Security priorities in an increasingly dangerous world."
  • Mike Preston of Florida tapped as next director of Arkansas Economic Development Commission

    Mike Preston, vice president for Government Relations with Enterprise Florida, is Gov. Asa Hutchinson's choice as the next director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, reports Roby Brock at Talk Business. Preston will be tasked with doling out millions in corporate welfare to bring in and retain businesses in the state. Hutchinson decided not to keep Grant Tennille, who served in the role under Gov. Mike Beebe, on the job.
  • Anti-gay legislation prompts Human Rights Campaign to run ad in Silicon Valley newspaper

    At a press conference today, Chad Griffin, Arkansas native and president of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest LGBT advocacy group, announced that his organization will run a full-page ad (see below) in the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley's largest paper, suggesting that Arkansas is closed for business due to HB 1228, the discriminatory, anti-gay measure making its way through the legislature. It could be up for consideration by the Senate today.
  • In wake of Harris rehoming revelations, broader review of child welfare system begins

    This morning, I spoke with Paul Vincent, the child welfare expert Gov. Asa Hutchinson has selected to conduct a review of the foster care and adoption system at the state Department of Human Services.
  • Lindsey's Resort on Little Red River to close after 50 years

    A note on the website of Lindsey's Resort, the popular trout-fishing destination on the Little Red River at Heber Springs, says the resort will be forced to close due to a bank foreclosure.

Most Viewed

  • $4 billion tech company calls it quits in Indiana over anti-LGBT 'Religious Freedom' bill.

    Take heed, Arkansas: the same day Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana announced he would sign the state's "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" — an anti-LGBT bill with disturbing similarities to Rep. Bob Ballinger's HB 1228 — a $4 billion tech company announced they're pulling up stakes there rather than "require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination." Ouch.
  • Anti-gay legislation prompts Human Rights Campaign to run ad in Silicon Valley newspaper

    At a press conference today, Chad Griffin, Arkansas native and president of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest LGBT advocacy group, announced that his organization will run a full-page ad (see below) in the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley's largest paper, suggesting that Arkansas is closed for business due to HB 1228, the discriminatory, anti-gay measure making its way through the legislature. It could be up for consideration by the Senate today.
  • Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson peddles fantasy of raping and torturing atheist family

    Oh dear. Paradigm of conservative cultural authenticity, Phil Robertson, patriarch of A&E's "Duck Dynasty," conjured up a gruesome fantasy of the rape and torture of an atheist family in a speech to the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast, later broadcast on the “Trunews” radio program by host Rick Wiles.
  • David Burnett flips, letting anti-gay and Ten Commandments bills out of committee

    Bring on the court challenges! Someone or another got to Democratic Sen. David Burnett and he flipped, caving and providing the needed fifth vote to pass a couple of Jerry Cox specials out of committee: HB1228, the so-called "conscience protection" bill from Bob Ballinger which would ensure protection for legal discrimination against gay people and SB939, the bill from Sen. Jason Rapert mandating that the Secretary of State build a monument commemorating the Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds.
  • House rejects Rep. Leding's bill to stop sentencing juveniles to life without parole

    The House of Representatives voted down HB 1197, the bill by Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) that would have ended the practice of sentencing minors convicted of capital murder to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The vote was 29-53 against the legislation.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation