Governor Phil Scott has been taking a lot of undeserved political heat from the VT NEA teacher’s union and their allies in the VT Democrat party regarding his courageous stand to save the VT taxpayer $26 million dollars.
This considerable savings would come by having teacher health insurance contracts negotiated at the state level.
I don’t understand why the VTNEA wouldn’t be just thrilled to have a state run single payer system for their teacher members. In 2014 the VTNEA used $80,000 in teacher union dues to lobby Vermont legislators to support then governor Shumlin’s bid to create a single payer system in Vermont. The VTNEA also supported Shumlin and the VT Democrat party’s failed Vermont Health Connect System. This deal, involving the disgraced Obamacare architect Johnathan Gruber, fleeced the taxpayers of a tidy $100 million dollars of which Gruber was paid $400,000.
This is the same Johnathan Gruber who said in referring to Obamacare, “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”
One would think that having the VTNEA membership’s health insurance managed at the state level would be a socialist dream come true. Except the Vermont NEA leadership knows better.
Joel Cook, executive director of the VTNEA testified in 2014 that the teacher members of the VTNEA be “held harmless” to the ill effects of single payer in Vermont. Why would he want them to be held harmless? Because Joel Cook and the rest of the leadership at the VTNEA knows that single payer would cost teachers more money and provide poor quality of service. So, the rest of us peasants in Vermont get to pay for the Cadillac health care plans of the teachers while we get the Yugo plan.
Ironically enough, the same figure of $26 million dollars is what was raided from the Vermont Education Fund in 2011 to pay for uncontrolled overspending of the general fund, by guess who? Yes, Governor Shumlin and the Democrat super majority in the general assembly. I am waiting for the day when the Vermont voter recognizes that the Democrats they keep sending to the legislature are no friend to Vermont’s students, parents, or the Vermont taxpayer. I won’t be holding my breath but I will be waiting for Hell to freeze over.