Leading the charge, AFSCME union agent Justus James complained he was "blindsided" by these changes, which he contends are based on a misconception of Obamacare. Pointing out that Gracedale workers have already made significant concessions (and he's right about that), James called the increases a "slap to the face of everybody who works in the County, whether you're union or nonunion." Another union leader, Sean Carson, told Council these changes are "nearly impossible for me to sell."
|These ladies did not want to smile, but finally did.|
But James and Carson fell short on offering solutions.
And as Council went about reviewing budget items, employees slowly left.
Someone in this field has told me that Siemiontkowski is completely wrong for the following reasons:
First, because the County Plan is fully self-funded, it can be grandfathered in with no adverse effects or tax.
Second, the County plan is cheaper than COBRA, which is what triggers the Cadillac classification. But I am told that when COBRA rates are adjusted each year, after reviewing the annual actuarial audit, they are higher than what is paid by the County.
This person may be the one who is wrong. I don't know.
I believe something this major needs to be reviewed thorough by an independent health insurance professional, with an eye to minimizing costs to the county workforce. If she is right, then it might be possible to implement medical savings accounts as an alternative to what is going to hurt people who should not have to suffer.