To the Editor:
During the health insurance fiasco for KISD employees, I’ve read comments from the four Killeen Independent School District board members who voted for the privately offered Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan and not the state TRS version of Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
These comments justified their decision to vote for a health care plan that will cost school employees hundreds of dollars per month more than the exact same plan offered from another vendor.
One of the comments was “this only affects a few employees and it doesn’t matter to them anyway.”
Well, it affects me. This teacher writing this letter today is one of many employees who get their health insurance from KISD and have no other option. It will personally cost me about $350 a month more. I take home after taxes about $3,400, so the difference between the two identical insurance plans more than 10 percent of my take-home income.
I know that to some of you that’s peanuts, but to me that’s a huge amount of my monthly budget. You have effectively lowered my pay by 10 percent simply for no good reason.
I can’t think of a single good reason that has come to light to make the decision to take money from my pocket and give it to a local private insurance broker to overpay for a plan that doesn’t offer a single thing more than the cheaper TRS plan.
Every argument offered by the board members who voted for the expensive BCBS plan has been weak.
One argument was that the TRS plan isn’t used by all school districts. That’s true. Ninety percent of all Texas school districts and entities use the TRS plan. We’re in the 10 percent that don’t. You have to wonder why we don’t, since KISD isn’t that much richer or smarter or a better shopper than 90 percent of other Texas districts. Who does the more expensive plan benefit? Not KISD employees.
To the KISD board members I want to remind you your legacy won’t come with your name on parks and plaques; your legacy will be set by how you have worked and served your fellow man. It won’t come in how much you made but in how much you give back.
Your grandchildren won’t remember what you did in back rooms amongst your business associates. They’ll remember you for the good you did.
When you make decisions that benefit an insurance broker at a heavy cost to 2,500 employees, that’s an ethical choice that won’t be forgotten.
To the board members and to Dr. Muller and the HR employees of KISD who have tried heroically to get the best health insurance outcome for KISD employees, thank you. You will be remembered.