Republican legislators say cash-strapped schools should consider requiring teachers to pay more of the costs of their own health care. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says increasing co-payments or deductibles is preferable to raising state or local taxes. Rants says he “understands that causes a certain level of frustration for teachers” but Rants says you can’t ask other Iowans to “take a pay cut” by paying more taxes to cover bigger health insurance premiums for school teachers. Rants suggests school officials need to examine their health plans and find ways to cut costs. Rants says schools need to see how their health benefit package compares to other employers in their community. Rants says it makes more sense than immediately resorting to layoffs. Rants says every company in the state has examined the health insurance deductibles it requires of employees, but the “public sector” — including schools — has been reluctant to do so.
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