by Del. Gail Bates
I was honored this summer to be asked to be one of 10 legislators nationwide who are on the Board of Directors of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council, which resulted in my chairing a work group on pensions at the annual conference.
Key issues at these forums include growing Medicaid costs for the states, growing cost of public education, the impact of the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare) and the growing liabilities for state & local pensions. Medicaid costs are growing faster than education in our state budget because the legislature expanded the eligibility to higher income citizens in anticipation of the provisions of Obamacare. Many states have enacted education reforms such as expanded charter school laws and increased use of technology to reduce costs and gain better educational outcomes. More than half the states were parties to the lawsuit on health care and are refusing to implement the provisions due to concern over the costs. Many states are also shifting state pensions to a defined contribution system similar to individuals’ 401(k) plans, instead of the very costly defined contribution systems which are favored by public sector unions, but which have all but been eliminated in the private sector due to cost.
Although we return from these conferences with ideas for controlling government costs while at the same time getting better outcomes, we remember that
is not fertile soil for such ideas. I personally don’t believe in innovation just for the sake of innovation, but when better results are obtained for lower cost, I believe it is essential to bring these ideas forward. After all, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results could be considered mental illness. Maryland
BATES, bringing horrifying ALEC nastiness to Maryland.
PLEASE Do NOT re-elect this woman.