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Employee Health care fund, a Piggy Bank for Politicians?

State Employees are justifiably worried about the attacks on health care, wages and benefits. Large employers in Maine are funding attacks on State employees because they fear the example that State employees set. Fair pay, benefits, collective bargaining are all frightening terms to the owner that only want to see themselves as “the boss”. They are threatened by the example of an employee employer partnership that is effective.

Many of the attacks focus on health care benefits, but just maybe the governor has seen that the best way to help the rest of Maine is to follow the success of the Union & State run health care. The State employee health commission has been tasked with the job of running the health care system on a budget fixed by the legislature and the scary thing about it to corporate types is that it works and it has even been able to build up a “rainy day fund”. Make no mistake, the success of the fund makes it the target for politicians. They want to grab that fund, and then they will claim that the lack of a fund is the reason they should cut our benefits. After all, there must be something wrong with a well run fund that can build a surplus!

There is some hope, in his Jan. 9 speech Gov. Baldacci proposed a partnership between the Maine State Employees Health Commission, the University of Maine system and the Maine Education Association to “put their enormous buying power to work to lower prescription drug costs” for state residents………… The governor said that in 2008 he will support legislative efforts to provide meaningful market reform that will make coverage more affordable for individuals. Is it time to let Mainers buy insurance from any willing and financially stable provider? The insurance commission will still have the final control, the ability to deny licensing to an out of State insurance company.

What could be more obvious? The Unions have kept health care cost increases to a small percentage of the increases faced by much of America and they have done it using good money management tools. Maybe it is time for the government to look at success and try to copy it, not destroy it.

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January 15th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Greedy pig, Kennebec Journal Attacks, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, SEIU, SEIU 1989, STATE EMPLOYEES, UNIONMAINE, msea maine | one comment

1 Comment

  1. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
    State employee health commission saves money and then the legislature wants to steal it.
    This is not the kind of example that would lead to cooperation between different groups.

    Comment by Anonymous | January 16, 2008

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