Court of Appeals [temporarily] halts changes in teacher retirement health care
This month, a majority of the Court of Appeals panel addressing the issue granted relief to a group of public school employee retirees who challenged changes in their retiree health care. The Court of Appeals held that it was a breach of contract and a denial of Constitutional rights for the State to make wholesale changes in the retirees' health care benefits.
Needless to say, this being a hot-button political issue in a state with a highly political, Republican-dominated judiciary, this decision won't stand up for long. Judge Henry Saad, certainly a bellwether for staunch extreme conservatism, filed a dissenting opinion arguing that the cuts were appropriate and legal.
Meanwhile, no one talks about the "elephant in the room:" i.e., health care costs which are eating American society and American manufacturing, in particular, alive. Health care costs already loom much larger in America, as a percentage of gross domestic product, than they are anywhere else in the world. It is expected that they will soon exceed 25% of GDP and no serious expert suggests that this is sustainable. Nevertheless, politicians remain unwilling to address the problems associated with third-party pay for services. When the issues are addressed (as Romney did in Massachusetts--who was then mimicked on the national stage with "Obama-care"), they simply become fodder for special interest groups to attack.