Friday, October 04, 2013

Stoffa: Obamacare a "Complicated Mess" For Northampton County

No matter what you think about Obamacare, Northampton County Executive John Stoffa called it a "complicated mess" at last night's County Council meeting. This is because the County's health plan is considered a "Cadillac plan". That's because its cost to the County exceeds COBRA health coverage costs, according to Human Resources Director Pat Siemiontkowski. Stoffa, unhappy at this classification, grumbled. "It's not a Cadillac plan, it's a Toyota plan."

What all this means is that, unless the County makes changes that will adversely impact employees, it will be subject to a $934,000 estimated tax in 2018. By 2028, that tax will grow to $28 million.

Siementowski told Council that health costs are expected to rise 13% next year, at least partially as a result of Obamacare. As a result of language in eight of the County's 11 union contracts, the County will unilaterally make changes to employee costs to convert the plan from Cadillac to Volkswagon.

The biggest change, according to Siemiontkowski, will be the addition of a 10% co-insurance requirement on County workers.

This may not seem like such a big deal, but will be disastrous to many County employees. One staffer told me of a raise that she recently got as a result of a new union contract. It was all but eaten up by Easton's commuter tax and increases in health insurance contributions.

Siemiontkowski told Council that the County is also considering other options like health savings accounts. Her goal is to get all 11 unions onto one plan.

In response to a question from Lamont McClure, Siemiontkowski stated that the projected 13% hike in health costs next year was dertermined by an actuary, not the County.

"The actuary's been wrong for five years," huffed McClure, noting the County always has money left over. But Bruce Gilbert and Tom Dietrich told McClure that an actuary should include a buffer for a self-insured county so there is money on hand. Siemiontkowski told Council the County pays between $300,000-600,000 every week for health claims. She also indicated most County workers already pay between three to five percent of their salary for health insurance.

"I pay $12,000," bragged McClure for some reason.

Obamacare will also include some positive changes for the County workforce. Caps on preventitive services, chiropractors, mental health treatment and the number of visits allowed will all be eliminated.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

This coming form a guy who was a complicated mess for Northampton County!

Anonymous said...

Learn to spell.

Anonymous said...

No shit, that is the law. Why is it that everyone that works for Stoffa states the obvious and still sounds retarded?

Stoffa has sucked off the public teat for his entire life and will get his fifty pensions and twenty health plans in retirement. Of course it is his desire to piss on other people because that is just the guy he is.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, you sound like a very hateful person, and your "retarded" remark demonstrates just how unenlightened you are.

Anonymous said...

It's ironic that many union workers will end up paying more under Obamacare since union leaders were among the major proponents of Obamacare passage.

Maybe union leaders will refund a portion of its members' union dues to help with the added cost.

Anonymous said...

The ACA is a majotr achievement that brings about a rational approach to healthcare in America. After fifty years of inaction by Republicans, now they claim to care.

Your bullshit is even less believable now that before.

Welcome to the 21st century. Your 1890 view of America are very quaint.

Anonymous said...

i'm very confused. can someone explain to me how the level of benefit can trigger a federal tax by the feds, payable by the county?

Anonymous said...

McClure and his wife are both sucking off the public teat. He claims he's paying 12,000 dollars a year for health costs. Between he and his wife their making 300,000 dollars a year. Does he want me to pity him? Like Stoffa, McClure will be gone in two years and to that end I say good riddance.

Anonymous said...

County employees complaining that their raise disappeared because of tax increases or other misc expenses. Welcome to the real world. Every single raise I've received in prob the last 10 years or say has been eaten up by tax or health care cost increases.

Bernie O'Hare said...

They're in the real word. And just like you complain, so do they. These folks are not rich. Most are struggling, just like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

McClure is an ambulance chasing Attorney, who makes a living with people who will be on Obama Care.

Anonymous said...

But Bernie, now YOU get to have health care, pre existing conditions and all, and since your income level is low, it will be subsidized (your premium) by the tax on cadilac plans i.e. the UNION plans.

Anonymous said...

Federal law now provides all the things unions have sought for years (safety, minimum wages, benefits, 40-hours, OT, vacation). There's no need for unions anymore. Private unions are steadily dying. Public unions are flourishing as reliable, paid-for Democrat voting blocs.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa is irrelevant. Whatever he says is meaningless. Nothing to see here, time to move on.

Anonymous said...

UNION plans these plans are the same for all county employees. The same benefits Stoffa had been collecting for the last 8 years, but lets change them for 2014 when he will be out of office

Anonymous said...

The only mess in Northampton County is the mess left by the Stoffa Admisntration.

Anonymous said...

"But most of all, I wish to recognize and thank the County employees, many of whom labor without recognition in their own dedicated way. As residents and citizens of Northampton County, we should all be proud of their efforts. They are our most valuable resource." -John Stoffa

He says this while increasing their insurance costs of over 2,500 to 4,500 dollars a year! Depending on single vs family coverage.


Where is all the reporting on this?..

Unbelievable and despicable

Anonymous said...

The Stoffa life philosophy,

I've got mine, screw you!

Anonymous said...

If he doesn't raise their premium the taxpayer picks in up in the form of a raise. This is what Obamacare looks like. Hope u love it. But the illegals will get it for free. If you voted for this president or u consider Hillary, remember the workers get to pull the train.....the others get a ride.