Brummett has a blog note saying that Gov. Beebe is giving some thought to using federal stimulus money, if rules allow, to prepay a decade of teachers’ health insurance costs.
Wow. That’s a lot of money. Teachers would love it.
But, boy, it raises questions. Such as about the immediate stimulative effect beyond the increased spending power of teachers in the first year of the subsidy. Would you pre-pay the insurance companies for the rest? Now that would be a windfall. What would they do with it? Would they be obligated to provide full coverage in future at price specified today, or would they be allowed to raise the rates? Interesting. Complicated. Any plan that involves insurance companies requires very careful study. Public interest isn’t at the top of their business model. Profit is.
UPDATE: Roby Brock talked with Gov. Beebe about this over the weekend. In that interview, Beebe said the White House wasn’t too keen on the idea.
UPDATE II: Some thoughtful comments from someone who’s long argued for better health coverage for teachers. (I note some seem to think they detect on my part a resistance to this idea. That’s wrong. I just see structural problems with a 10-year-advance payment, which isn’t going to happen anyway. I’m for universal health coverage for ALL.)