Saturday, January 21, 2012

Some are more equal than others

Legislation being proposed would pay for the health insurance and college tuition for children of law enforcement officers, firefighters and other public safety officers when that parent dies in the line of duty.
Under the plan, children of those workers would keep their parent's health insurance benefits at no cost until age 26. Children under the age of 26, and qualified veterans under the age of 30, would receive free tuition and fees at Iowa's community colleges and public universities.

Iowa bill would help children when officers die.
Tragic as that is, and I know I'll take a hit for this, but I don't understand why those children get benefits provided by the taxpayer that are not given to all children of the state. My children are less important because of my occupation?

Who is pushing for this bill? Iowa State Troopers Association, State Police Officers Council and two legislators, one a current and one former firefighter. Big surprise.

My suggestion would be to buy life insurance (I know the rates are higher for risky occupations) - but that's what I had to do. Because the state isn't going to step in and provide for my boys with free tuition and health insurance if I die. I don't expect them to.
[Senator] Hancock said the legislation will likely be rolled into a larger "EMS bill of rights" that he and Danielson are working on that also is designed to give some benefits to volunteer public safety workers and help local governments.
Why not teachers who already get a break on student loans if they stay in the state? How about state legislators? Or DOT workers who plow the roads? That's dangerous work.

What about the electrical linemen who brave the ice and wind during a power outage? They are pretty damned important, too. How about the surgeon who saves the life after the ambulance driver safely delivers the patient to the emergency room? The EMS workers' kids get free benefits and the nurses and doctors don't? Doesn't sound fair to me.

It's not like I have no heart as I freely give to associations and fundraising benefits for those in my community who need help. But I do not understand why I should be paying (non-voluntarily) for the benefit of others who should have anticipated the risks and provided for their family if a tragic death should occur.

No one in the state house would be interested in providing for families of IT engineers if one of us should die "on duty." We don't have a lobbying group pushing for it.


Anonymous said...

Police and firemen are going into harm's way for the public benefit.

Quite a stretch to equate that with teachers---what, a bad papercut?---or doctors who are at more risk of drowning in a hot tub than dying on the job.

strandediniowa said...

Yeah, and they should provide for their own. I have to.

They can buy their life own insurance just like the rest of us who have to provide for their families in case of death. It doesn't take a financial genius to figure that out and taxpayers shouldn't be footing the bill for someone who doesn't wisely take care of their family.

Point about the teachers is that they get forgivable student loans if the stay in the state. An example of a special interest lobby getting goodies from the taxpayers.

People should take care of their family and quit whining to the state to bail them out.