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House Bill 203 — Public school health insurance fund

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House Bill 203 — Public school health insurance fund

by
Parrish Miller
February 27, 2023

Bill Description: House Bill 203 would remove the statutory cap on how much the state can appropriate to the Public School Health Insurance Participation Fund.

Rating: -2

Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

Last session, the Legislature passed House Bill 443 (Freedom Index rating: -3) to establish the "public school health insurance participation fund," which was intended to make it easier for government school employees to move into the state insurance plan.

As passed last year, the law says, "The fund is continuously appropriated to the state department of education for the purpose of funding the actuarially established onetime amount required for a public school to buy in to the state's medical and dental group insurance plan, not to exceed four thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500) per support unit."

("Support unit" means "a function of average daily attendance used in the calculations to determine financial support provided to the public school districts.")

House Bill 203 would amend Section 67-5771A, Idaho Code, to remove the requirement that appropriations to this fund not "exceed four thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500) per support unit." The bill wouldn't increase the cap; it would remove it altogether. 

The current law also says that "any unexpended moneys remaining in the fund after June 30, 2024, shall be transferred by the state controller to the public education stabilization fund."

House Bill 203 would further amend this section to change the date to June 30, 2025, providing more time for this redistributive program to exist. 

(-1)

Does it increase government redistribution of wealth? Examples include the use of tax policy or other incentives to reward specific interest groups, businesses, politicians, or government employees with special favors or perks; transfer payments; and hiring additional government employees. Conversely, does it decrease government redistribution of wealth?

As pointed out in last year's analysis of House Bill 443, this transition is facilitating a massive wealth transfer to employees of government schools. Removing the already very generous cap on this transition will only serve to increase the amount of redistributed through it. 

(-1)

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