Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Employee Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

Some 685,000 North Carolina state workers (including teachers, y'all!), state retirees, and their families are facing a sudden and cruel rewriting of the state health insurance rules that will drop employee spouses from coverage as well as simply eliminate the popular "80/20 plan," forcing state employees into junk insurance plans at higher cost.

The State Health Plan board of trustees will vote on whether to mug state employees this Friday. They say they're having to do this because the Republicans in the General Assembly demanded a reduction in cost. Members of the General Assembly, including the ineffable Jonathan Jordan, say they're as surprised as you are and don't understand why this is happening. Don't you believe it.

Every last one of those Republican members of the General Assembly voted for the budget that is busily shifting the cost of everything onto the backs of working people while giving big tax breaks to the rich and to corporations. Jonathan Jordan is responsible (along with Dan Soucek, who's getting the hell out of Dodge).
Changes under consideration would also add premiums and raise the deductibles paid by those who enroll in the remaining plans. One of those is a "consumer-directed" plan with high deductibles paired with a health savings account. For many state workers, particularly those who earn lower salaries, that plan isn't affordable, said Ardis Watkins, the lead lobbyist for SEANC [State Employees Assn. of NC]....
Watkins said that, if the health plan wants to look for savings, its own consultants have pointed toward potential changes that would net at least $250 million per year. The state, she said, should bring the rates paid to providers more in line with rates paid by Medicare. That would mean less profit for doctors and hospitals, something that would be likely to spur push-back by medical providers. Passing on the costs to state employees, she said, may be the politically easier option.
We should know by now, after five years of Republican rule in this state, that screwing their own employees comes very naturally to these guys. We can only hope that those 685,000 workers, retired or active, make it politically uneasy to do this dirt.

The best part? The trustees of the State Health Plan have made it virtually impossible for the citizens to contact them to express an opinion (see the video posted below). Their contact information is carefully shielded, though some sleuths have turned up a few of them (see below the video).

Contact info for members of the board of trustees of the State Health Plan:
Dr. Paul Cunningham cunninghamp@ecu.edu
Kim Hargett (who is also running for the NC House). Her campaign’s mailing address:
Charles T Johnson
220 Bragg St
Warrenton NC 27589
Aaron McKeithan amckethan@gmail.com
Billy Medlin
600 7 Lks #7
West End, NC 27376
Warren Newton
590 Manning Drive
CB 7595
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7595
David Rubin david_rubin@unc.edu


Anonymous said...

The state Capitol is really the Red-Light district in Raleigh, with a large contingent of whores who are bought and paid for each and every day. It's easy to buy just one,but takes a lot more time and money to own an entire political party. All state employees have now been included with the "enemy" (education, teachers,public schools) .

Anonymous said...

Email addresses for some of the State Health Plan bd. of trustees:

Kim Hargett: virginia.hargett@ucps.k12.nc.us
Charles T. Johnson charles.t.johnson@ncdps.gov
Dr. Warren Newton warren_newton@med.unc.edu
David S. Rubin david_rubin@unc.edu