Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

46 posts / 0 new
Last post
Anonymous
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

By Victoria Wallack
Statehouse Reporter

AUGUSTA (May 8): The state currently pays 100 percent of the health insurance premium for state employees "” a benefit that costs taxpayers $7,000 a year for individual employees, and as much as $13,600 a year for an employee with a family, whose spouse and children are covered at a 60 percent rate.

That cost adds up to more than $100 million a year for current employees and their families "” a benefit Republicans say should be cut to help balance the state budget over the next two years.

[url=http://waldo.villagesoup.com/Government/story.cfm?storyID=92227]SOURCE[/...

Gaffer
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 12/11/1999 - 1:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

It is about time that common sense started to kick in. It is absolutely critical that state employees kick in a portion of their healthcare cost. It is long overdue and finally I see a glimmer of backbone starting to appear in the GOP. Hooray!

Michael Vaughan
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 10/22/1999 - 12:01am
Thaink Eeeeyew!

[quote="Gaffer"]It is about time that common sense started to kick in. It is absolutely critical that state employees kick in a portion of their healthcare cost. It is long overdue and finally I see a glimmer of backbone starting to appear in the GOP. Hooray![/quote]Heh, heh, heh.

I spoke to Sawin and got some numbers from the Office of Fiscal and Program Review.

My request was to view the savings found by requiring anyone above the Maine Median Income (around $37,000) to pay 1/2 of their own premium and all of their dependents' share.

Editor
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: 04/18/2009 - 3:43pm
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

Have we given up trying to keep running threads so people can find the chronology of events in one place? This post would make sense here - http://www.asmainegoes.com/node/13018 - wouldn't it?

skf

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

Thank you, Mr. Editor.

FNG
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 09/10/2004 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

It's about time the legislature considers saving money rather than increasing revenue!

fullseptic
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: 01/25/2006 - 4:58pm
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

Whew! At first I thought the headline meant Republicans wanted LASIK covered by insurance for the state workers because they can't see what they're doing....

rklindell
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 08/05/2003 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

I wonder how many legislators have figured out that this will mean THEY will have to pay more for their own health insurance! :D

Michael Vaughan
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 10/22/1999 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

A minor sacrifice

Melvin Udall
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 7 min ago
Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

I vote for a combined dental/vision policy, so that when your tongue gets in front of your eye tooth, and you can't see what you're saying, we only pay once.

rklindell
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 08/05/2003 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

This just occured to me:

Isn't a big part of the budget gap the funding of the firefighter's retiree health insurance benefits? If so it seems very reasonable for State employees to accept some cuts in order to increase benefits for firefighters.

Bobby Reynolds
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 09/02/2005 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

Funding for the Health care benefit for retired cops and firefighters is just a hair over $2 million over the 2-year budget cycle...this amount was reduced by over 50% in the change package....additionally, cops and firefighters are mandated by statute, unlike other public employees and legislators, to contribute a portion of their income during the course of their careers to off-set state liabilities....on the national level Republicans are the party of the military and national defense, what is perplexing is, although the majority of cops and firefighters, law and order types essentially, are registered Republicans, the State Republican party is willing to cede this group to the Democrats....

Peter
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 03/13/2005 - 1:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

I believe this was discussed last year by AMGers...

rklindell
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 08/05/2003 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

Republicans actually came up with a fiscally responsible plan to fund police and firefighter's health benefits in the 121st legislature. The unions would have nothing to do with it and the Democrats went ahead and pushed through a measure that will require either tax increases or spending cuts to fund.

Beth O'Connor
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: 04/28/2005 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

[quote="Editor"]Have we given up trying to keep running threads so people can find the chronology of events in one place? This post would make sense here - http://www.asmainegoes.com/node/13018 - wouldn't it?

skf[/quote]
That would make sense indeed in this case, I wasn't sure which thread to post on today.

I think this plan is certainly a begining, but I think it should be carried a step further. I think all school employees should have to kick in any increases to their insurance packages. The insurance rates this year went up considerably again with 86 of our teachers costing the district 18K each. We tried to negotiate a higher deductable with the union for a better package bringing the cost down to just over 12K, but the union would not budge.

Maybe if those paid with tax dollars started feeling the pinch, there would be more incentive to solve the insurance crisis here in Maine.

Melvin Udall
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 7 min ago
Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

Eggs-actly.

Bruce Libby
Online
Last seen: 9 min 9 sec ago
Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

Ahh! Beth;
Not that it will make a difference but since I pay taxes subsidizing my own
salary and benefits , I will feel the pinch!
I will be willing to make this sacrifice for you Beth, but after it happens ,
let's say tax period for 2008 if your taxes have gone down PM me and we can talk.
Or declare publically it didn't work.

JustSayNo
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 04/06/2004 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

[quote="Beth O'Connor"]
We tried to negotiate a higher deductable with the union for a better package bringing the cost down to just over 12K, but the union would not budge.

Maybe if those paid with tax dollars started feeling the pinch, there would be more incentive to solve the insurance crisis here in Maine.[/quote]

Maybe, just once, a school board should stand up to the union.
Don't forget, salaries and benefits are NOT subject to binding arbitration.

Taxpayer
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: 09/08/2005 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

I know someone who works for a major health insurer in the state. The employees do not have cadillac plans. They have significant deductibles AND have to pay towards the premium for themselves and pay a significant amount for their dependents. Why do the state employees get health insurance better than 99% of the citizens in Maine and they pay nothing for it, and minimal amount for their dependents? It doesn't make sense.

Kind of like having a food shortage and the government employees have tons of food while the rest of us starve.

Tom C
Offline
Last seen: 24 min 46 sec ago
Joined: 01/03/2006 - 6:00pm
Question for Naran

[quote="Paul Mattson"] a benefit that costs taxpayers $7,000 a year for individual employees, and as much as $13,600 a year for an employee with a family, whose spouse and children are covered at a 60 percent rate.

[/quote]

Question for Naran:

Should the taxpayers be picking up ANY of the extra cost of a family plan for a government worker?

Why/why not?

Tom C
Offline
Last seen: 24 min 46 sec ago
Joined: 01/03/2006 - 6:00pm
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

[quote="Beth O'Connor"] The insurance rates this year went up considerably again with 86 of our teachers costing the district 18K each. [/quote]

That's pretty amazing, especially when The Bald One stated in his state of the State address that the average teacher in Maine makes only $25,000 a year.

So, if $18,000 of that is health insurance - then I take it you only pay them $7,000 in salary?

Or was the Bald One lying to us again?

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

Tom - the answer to that question is multi-layered. If Government wants employees, they have to give them an incentive to stay employed. I also think some "company" participation in benefit costs for employees is appropriate.

Just not 60%, 70%, or 100% - especially not when salary increases come along like clockwork every year, too.

Tom C
Offline
Last seen: 24 min 46 sec ago
Joined: 01/03/2006 - 6:00pm
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

[quote="Naran"]Tom - the answer to that question is multi-layered. If Government wants employees, they have to give them an incentive to stay employed. I also think some "company" participation in benefit costs for employees is appropriate.

Just not 60%, 70%, or 100% - especially not when salary increases come along like clockwork every year, too.[/quote]

But why should the government have to pay EXTRA if an employee is married or has a family? It is the employee's job to show up and work, and the employer's job to pay a certain amount. Why should the employer suddenly be on the hook for more money if the employee gets married? Isn't that the employee's choice and responsibility?

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

I support the cafeteria approach. Every employee gets X amount of benefit dollars to spend, and a choice as to how they choose to spend them. That would be far more equitable, and solve the marital/non-marital issue.

Tom C
Offline
Last seen: 24 min 46 sec ago
Joined: 01/03/2006 - 6:00pm
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

So we should eliminate the benefit of paying for extra family or dependent coverage.

If I may (not to be personal) How do you get your coverage?

Beth O'Connor
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: 04/28/2005 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

[quote="Bruce Libby"]Ahh! Beth;
Not that it will make a difference but since I pay taxes subsidizing my own
salary and benefits , I will feel the pinch!
I will be willing to make this sacrifice for you Beth, but after it happens ,
let's say tax period for 2008 if your taxes have gone down PM me and we can talk.
Or declare publically it didn't work.[/quote]

Bruce, indeed you do pay taxes subsidizing your own benefits and probably feel pinched already due to the Maine oppresive tax burden. I am suggesting pinching harder so everyone wakes up. I hope a pair if vise grips is not needed.
I hope I PM ya pal...but I don't see tax relief any where in the near future here in Maine for any of us. I fear we have reached the point of no return and the next step for Maine is a federal bailout :cry:

Taxpayer
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: 09/08/2005 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

[quote="Tom C"]But why should the government have to pay EXTRA if an employee is married or has a family? It is the employee's job to show up and work, and the employer's job to pay a certain amount. Why should the employer suddenly be on the hook for more money if the employee gets married? Isn't that the employee's choice and responsibility?[/quote]

Thanks to the domestic partner laws liberals have enacted, you don't even have to get married to enroll your girlfriend, boyfriend, their kids, your kids, or to even have kids. Ain't it grand here in liberal land?

Bruce Libby
Online
Last seen: 9 min 9 sec ago
Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

In the end this is a great idea to balance a budget what the hell
are they going to do for the next budget?

Except for the thrill of sticking it to someone in the end come this same time
2009 we will hearing the same thing in one form or another!

The problem is not to balance a budget! The problem is to have an economy that can thrive
grow expand to provide reasonable services.

This will ensure your taxes don't go up maybe!
It will in no way cause your taxes to go down!

Beth O'Connor
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: 04/28/2005 - 12:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

Right on Bruce! the economy is key here and if we can boost that the other things should fall into place. We first need to decrease the income tax as well as the sales tax and become far more business friendly. If we can't accomplish these things we will continue the death spiral Maine is in.

Robert
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 3 months ago
Joined: 04/01/2005 - 1:01am
Maine Republicans eye cutting insurance for state workers

Brilliant plan. Instead of seeking out parts of government we can do without, and cutting them, let's go with this plan, that will guarantee the Democrats new found votes. :? This plan is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. :?

Michael Vaughan
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 5 months ago
Joined: 10/22/1999 - 12:01am
Your suggestions?

[quote="Robert"]...Instead of seeking out parts of government we can do without, and cutting them...[/quote]You mean in addition to cutting roads and bridges?

Pages

Log in to post comments