We know Gov. Nathan Deal doesn’t listen to teachers, or to anyone who isn’t a deep-pocket donor. But maybe the governor should have listened to his own attorney to avoid some mistakes when he changed health insurance coverage for every Georgia teacher and state employee. “This process has been an embarrassment to our state [and] to our governor,” Gov. Deal’s own attorney, Randy Evans, said during a hearing to fight the governor’s shortsighted policy change.
Today, after intense pressure from teachers and state employees, Gov. Deal will unveil a “fix” for his embarrassing state health insurance fiasco. Gov. Deal’s second swing at this policy change may be an improvement. Honestly, he couldn’t do much worse than he’s already done. But the new policy still won’t provide most small-town teachers with the option of using a doctor in their own community or, in some cases, even using a doctor in Georgia. Gov. Deal will give his universally hated policy change just enough adjustments to pacify teachers and to keep his $25,000 corporate donor Blue Cross Blue Shield from suing him, too. But Gov. Deal’s bad decisions don’t stop with health insurance for teachers and state employees. Gov. Deal has underfunded education every single year he’s been in office, according to the state’s own standards. When it comes to education and health care, Gov. Deal has made one bad decision after another. He simply can’t be trusted. If this is what Gov. Deal does in a year when he faces re-election, imagine what he’ll do if he wins and never again has to ask for your vote. Gov. Deal has spent too much time being the best governor his donors can buy. His work as governor for all the rest of us has been wrong at every turn.