TRS ActiveCare And ObamaCare

In 2001 the state of Texas passed a bill authorizing the establishment of a group medical program for Texas public school districts. The program is called TRS ActiveCare. Thus was established a single payer government plan for Texas school employees.

There may be a similarity between the Texas TRS ActiveCare plan and ObamaCare in the sense that plan sponsors may find certain advantages to terminating their existing plan and joining government sponsored health plans instead.

I remember vividly my conversation with a school superintendent when the TRS ActiveCare plan was passed by the Texas legislature.

When I asked him if his district was going to join the government plan, his response was immediate and forceful:

“Yes, of course. I would be an idiot not to join TRS ActiveCare! Just think Bill, no more insurance committee meetings, no more dealings with damn insurance salesman, no more dealing with employee complaints about their insurance. All I will have to do in that case is tell them to call Austin and complain to their state representative. This gets us out of the insurance business and allows us to focus on what we do best – teach!”

Most Texas school districts have terminated their group medical plans and have joined the Texas government single payer health plan funded, in large part,  by taxpayers.

On a side note, Governor Perry says he is against ObamaCare. Yet his own state, under his watch,  established a single payer medical plan that competes with private health plans.

ObamaCare may have the same effect. Plan sponsors face increasingly stringent government mandates. They are at risk. Texas House Bill 300 for example, to take effect September 1, 2012 , directly puts a plan sponsor at risk for HIPPA violations. Fines and sanctions are significant. Federal laws have similar consequences.

Why would an employer want to continue sponsoring a medical plan when the liabilities involved could put them out of business? And why would they want the headaches too?

Editor’s Note: The Perry jab is intentional. In our opinion, the only difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans take longer to get there (except in Mass. where RomneyCare was implemented way before Obama was a household name). Remember Medicare in 1966? More Republicans than Democrats were against it ( http://www.ssa.gov/history/tally65.html ). Now Republicans are 100% in support of it. Will Republicans, given time, overwhelmingly support ObamaCare too? If you are against something based on principle, and you  subsequently change  your opinion in favor of it, what changed?

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