Health care costs

Will, I support your stand on allowing local authorities to modify contracts. All budgets are under pressure and there has to be shared sacrifice. I would like to see some more sacrifice by taxpayers. The tax rate could easily go up. The quid pro quo would be that towns and the State Government would have to show that they are using the resources wisely. The debacle in the Parole Department does not instill confidence that public resources are being well used. So, go ahead, pull back some of the benefits….that is what has been happening to the boomers as the retirement age goes up. But, show us through programs and actions (not speeches) that the towns and the State are serious about cutting costs and improving efficiency.

Published by malcolm_mcpherson

Belmont resident since 1989; children attended Belmont schools; enjoyed themselves; spend a lot of time working in developing countries; they have more problems than most Americans can imagine; last country I worked in...Liberia...had a budget of $85 million in 2005....Belmont's budget is bigger...

3 replies on “Health care costs”

  1. Yup. That’s what we have to now – demonstrate a commitment to fairness and efficiency. A lot has happened to undermine people’s trust. As a matter of political fact, we have to do that in a sustained way before we ask taxpayers for more at the state level. That’s why you don’t seen any of the leaders at the state level calling for a broad-based tax increase right now.

    1. Just wanted to make a few points
      1. Taking away a collective bargaining right is taking away a right (changing the rules of the game.
      2. Every one works for different forms of compensation. Part of public employee’s compensation is health insurance plans. To force people into the GIC without bargaining is again changing the rules of the game.
      3. When economic times were good, no one was beating down the doors for these jobs. In fact all we heard was we had a teacher shortage and are still saying we need better teachers.
      4. Do you think cutting benefits for teachers will slow the turnover rate? Almost 40% of new teachers leave in the first three years.

      So if you want to change the rules of the game lets not do it retroactively. The fair way to do it is moving forward. If you want to force everyone into the GIC give the employee the savings (i.e. Give it to the workers in salaries, it is part of their compensation package). The Bill suggests giving them only 10% of the savings, higher co-pays and less coverage. The governmentwill take the other 90%. How can we justify taking compensation that the parties have already agreed to? We will realize our savings in the future. That’s what is fair.

  2. Paul: You are correct in one thing. Times change. When conditions were good there were other options and some of the currently good jobs (i.e., those with tenure and benefits) went begging. But, the point is that times change. Collective bargaining is not a “right” under the Constitution or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Moreover, history has shown that most of the rights they “guarantee” are relative. My comment was about responsibilities which is why, in any practical social setting, rights are relative as well. Without some reworking of job benefits, your insistence on the right to maintain your right, keeps other people from jobs, the streets in disrepair, and other social services unprovided. Your insistence on your right, pulls up the ladder going forward. This is where responsibility comes in…higher taxes, more efficiency in the public sector, cuts that don’t over-burden the worst off (like graduated co-pays, or means testing).

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