Letters to the Editor

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HEALTH CARE: State takeover isn’t warranted

Letter by Pam Kruse, Olympia on March 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm | 1 Comment »
March 22, 2012 11:05 am

Re: “Bipartisan plan would give school employees health care equity” (Viewpoint, 3-21).

The Senate Republican budget includes millions of dollars to fund a government takeover of K-12 employee health care. SB 6442 takes away private-sector competition, local decision-making and consumer choice. Replacing the current health care system with one that is run by state government bureaucrats makes no sense.

State senators currently get $850 per month for health insurance from the state for working less than half time. K-12 employees who work half time — which is more than most senators — get $384 per month from the state for health insurance. That’s less than half of what state senators receive. Full-time K-12 employees get $768 per month, still less than the $850 for state senators.

Not only is this not fair, but it’s not fiscally responsible. Rather than saving the state money, SB 6442 would cost an additional $45 million to taxpayers and add 38 new state employees. It would also cost more for each of our school districts.

When state programs are being cut to balance the budget, why would senators want to add millions in costs? When money is tight, why aren’t we putting funds into the classroom rather than worrying about a new government bureaucracy that nobody wants?

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