Kyle Olson appears on ‘Stossel’ to publicize the success of Wisconsin’s union reforms

Apr 20, 2013 by

NEW YORK – It’s about time the rest of the nation learned more about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s successful collective bargaining reforms, particularly as they pertain to education.

Kyle Olson, publisher of EAGnews, appeared on “Stossel,” a Fox Business Network program hosted by award-winning journalist John Stossel, in an episode that aired Thursday night. Olson talked about the positive effects of Walker’s Act 10, a groundbreaking law which limited collective bargaining privileges for public sector labor unions in Wisconsin.

He told Stossel and his live audience about the freedom public employees now have to leave their unions if they choose and avoid related fees. He talked about declining union membership in the state since the law went into effect.

“When you actually give teachers and public employees a choice, they drop out,” Olson said.

But most of Olson’s appearance focused on the positive impact Act 10 had on the cost of school health insurance in the state. EAGnews recently released a report on that topic titled, “First Years of Freedom: Wisconsin Schools Saving Millions on Health Insurance in the Act 10 Era.”

Olson told Stossel how WEA Trust, an insurance company established by the state’s largest teachers union, used to dominate the school insurance market in the state. Local unions would demand WEA Trust coverage during collective bargaining, resulting in a lack of competition and skyrocketing insurance rates for schools and the taxpayers who support them.

KyleandStosselBut Act 10 took employee health insurance off the collective bargaining table, allowing school boards to accept bids for coverage without union interference, resulting in combined savings of “hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to Olson.

Sixty-two percent of school districts polled by EAGnews experienced savings in the first year after Act 10 was passed, Olson said.

Stossel, using a statistic from the EAGnews report, noted that the average cost of monthly premiums for family coverage in schools dropped from $1,752 to $1,551 due to Act 10. He also noted that the Appleton school district accepted bids and chose to stay with WEA Trust coverage, but saved $3 million per year in the process.

“They stayed with the union preferred company, but since that company had competition, suddenly they dropped their rates,” Olson said.

via EAGnews’ Kyle Olson appears on ‘Stossel’ to publicize the success of Wisconsin’s union reforms – :: Education Research, Reporting, Analysis and Commentary.

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