A few weeks ago, our Governor encouraged the General Assembly to create legislation for a statewide healthcare plan for school employees. The plan is to include all school districts, intermediate units, career and technical centers, and charter schools. Oh, except for the Philadelphia school district. That don’t need to participate because they claim they are already doing what the state is requesting and they are doing it better.
Hmm. Sounds fishy, doesn’t it? I am not opposed to the idea of a healthcare plan for all school employees, but that is what it should be for ALL school employees. Not all except Philadelphia. If it is true that Philly has a great plan, then let all the school employees into the program and the problem is solved, right?
The big question will be cost and benefits. There are many unanswered questions as of yet, but this is something that all tax payers will need to pay attention too. Why? A plan like this could help some districts, but possibly hurt others, which would cost local taxpayers more. Most governmental programs tend to be inefficient and ineffective, again this costs taxpayers money.
Another key initiative behind this legislation is to take healthcare off the bargaining table, which has been a big sticking point for the unions and has led to several strikes over the past few years.
I have a better idea, rather than mess around with a massive healthcare system for some 260,000 people, just pass a law that limits teacher strikes to only non-school hours/days!