Texans can’t afford luxury health insurance for retirees

Robert Pratt photo Copyright Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt

The Austin American-Statesman began a story headlined “Retired teachers: Texas lawmakers broke their promise on health care” with: “Sue Schnars retired from the Pflugerville school district as a special education administrator in December with the understanding that she and her 41-year-old daughter with disabilities could live on her state retirement and health benefits.

“Six months later, Texas lawmakers cut health benefits in a way that will hit retirees such as the 59-year-old Schnars the hardest. Come January, her deductible will be $3,000 — 10 times higher than it is now — and her insurance won’t cover non-preventive visits to the doctor until she hits that ceiling,” the story reported.

The system was created in 1986 and funded through 2000. It has since been struggling to remain solvent requiring a big injection of cash each Texas budget cycle. This time around TRS was facing a billion dollar shortfall and lawmakers voted to put in $484 million of taxpayer money over the next two years and to reduce “the number of health care plans from three to one for each age group, effective in January,” according to the Statesman.

Reality is that with Obamacare all of us who pay for our own healthcare plans have seen much worse with skyrocketing premiums higher than many house payments, huge deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, and fewer plans to choose from. Employers have seen the same paying for the plans many get from work.

We don’t have the money to pay for our own coverage and pay higher taxes to make TRS a luxury-care program which is certainly what it was with $300 deductibles!

And as to Ms. Schnars’ TRS plan, I’ve never had health insurance, going back to the mid-1980’s when I was our firm’s plan administrator, that had a deductible of only $300 or anywhere close to such a low figure. The lowest deductible I’ve had in decades was $2,500 per year on my plan just before Obamacare took effect which was killed off by the same.

I’m sorry that TRS hasn’t lived up to what some understood it to be but we’ve all suffered, many far more than TRS members. We don’t have the money to pay for our own coverage and pay higher taxes to make TRS a luxury-care program which is certainly what it was with $300 deductibles!

That’s the problem with socialism and similar government program efforts, eventually we run out of other people’s money.

What do you think?...

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