If you’ve been wondering how the just-passed health care reform bill will affect your own coverage, consider the coverage of our nation’s teachers. Many enjoy the incredibly cushy Cadillac kind, courtesy of indefatigable unions and generous school boards. Those plans will be subject to an “excise tax” that policymakers hope will “bend the cost curve” (and help pay for the reform plan). Unfortunately, the reconciliation version of the bill pushes the enactment of that tax off until 2018, keeping our education system’s unsustainable benefits structure in place for another eight years. That’s a shame, because an immediate tax might have encouraged unions to push for less generous healthcare in return for higher salaries--a package that’s likely to be much more attractive to the hot-shot young teachers our system needs to recruit.
“Health-Care Reform: Implications for Teachers,” by Stephen Sawchuk, Teacher Beat, a blog of Education Week, March 23, 2010