Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stoffa Will Not Penalize Workers For "Regressive" Obamacare Provisions

A memo From Executive John Stoffa to NorCo Council:

Dear County Council,

After much deliberation, I have decided to rescind the Administrative decision to dramatically increase employee co-insurance contributions for healthcare benefits. We remain very concerned about penalties that can be levied against the County in 2018 for having what is categorized as a "cadillac plan" under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many employers including Pennsylvania's counties are struggling with this provision of the ACA. It is my intention during my remaining term in office to work with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) to advocate for changes in the law, to increase the threshold for "cadillac plans" or to eliminate this provision. It is unfair that employers who try to reward their employees with good health care coverage would be penalized for doing so. County employment, like most public service, does not provide big salaries, bonuses or other incentives. Our hard-working, dedicated employees value the excellent benefits provided by the County. They have tolerated and understood our need to limit pay increases due to tight budgets, and the need for them to contribute higher percentages of their pay for quality health care coverage. However, a 900% increase for some employees but not for all employees, (this would not apply to all unions) in their co-insurance contributions in 2014, is not the answer to the problem we are facing with the ACA. I am suggesting that necessary changes be considered for calendar year 2015, when the ACA has been thoroughly researched, as well as reasons for the increased medical costs in employee utilization. We need to work together, with other counties and the unions representing our employees, to facilitate changes in this law.

I will be forming an ad hoc committee to help us develop a strategy to advocate for changes in the ACA and to be prepared for the consequences in the event those changes cannot be achieved. I hope that this effort will be continued during the next County administration. But until then, we need to work together with our employees, their representatives and other Pennsylvania counties in finding solutions in the regressive provision of the ACA.

Thanks,
John

John Stoffa
County Executive

Will County workers come to today's budget hearing en masse to thank him? They had no problem trashing him last week over a law that was not his making.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

The ACA and its respective costs are getting shoved down the throats of the private sector, yet it is unfair that the government worker bears the costs.

By them not "paying their fair share", the added costs falls to the taxpayer who will not have to subsidize others with their own health care costs, but now get to subsidize governmental worker's costs via higher taxes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Clearly, this is one of the regressive parts of the law. It was designed to help, not hurt, people. I think it is wise to take some time to work on changes so that good people aren't penalized, whether they are in the private or public sector.

Anonymous said...

the increase really had nothing to do with the ACA, county just used that as an excuse.

Anonymous said...

Why protect the feeders from themselves?

Most of them voted for president assclown, let them live with that they have delivered unto themselves.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

Just pull the insurance below the threshold. I'm sure more people would want that. The school district has good healthcare and they are not over the Cadillac threshold. What the hell is the county giving out?

Anonymous said...

By them not "paying their fair share", the added costs falls to the taxpayer who will not have to subsidize others with their own health care costs, but now get to subsidize governmental worker's costs via higher taxes.

You always paid government worker's healthcare, genius. Now you'll just be paying more.

Anonymous said...

Only a narrow minded person and you know who you are would think Stoffa was going to do this for any other reason then he was making what he thought was the right decision at the time. Think its easy to reverse and then explain yet again? Please stay home when the rest of society goes out to vote. This is a reprieve for now and Callahan will have to deal with it but no worries he likes to raise taxes.... So we have to more for everything we buy including our healthcare and then we can pay morin taxes, again to further help the county employees. They can only make what can be taken from us and there is a limit. We all will get higher insurance premiums and less coverage. We take in from both ends. Again...

Anonymous said...

Stoffa is an ass. Experts have not figured out the total impact yet, and he just throws out an amount, as usual.
Stoffa has a tactic. he throws you in the lake, waits bit then throws you a rope to pull you out and you want folks to thank him?
County Council should be sure to just give him a blanket and warm milk and take any sharp objects away for him.

Stoffa the publically paid for millionaire and multiple funded healthcare plans guy, pissing on anyone else who can't afford the care. He squandered his huge surplus he inherited and now has another guy to blame, the president.

He is leaving the way he came in.

Anonymous said...

So we have to more for everything we buy including our healthcare and then we can pay morin taxes, again to further help the county employees.

And the county employees do nothing in return? Shit, I wouldn't want to work in a prison or in the courts dealing with the dregs of society. Good thing you don't have to either, right?

Anonymous said...

Good, Stoffa should resign tomorrow and start his committee. I hear there is plenty of room on Mars.

The next government will want or need no advice from this incompetent clown.

Anonymous said...

@12:14 Captain Obvious

That is my point. Not only will we have to pay higher premiums for our own health care, we now will have to pay higher taxes because the higher premiums for a governmental worker are not being passed onto the worker.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You don't know what you're going to have yet. If a doctor gives you bad news, you get a second opinion. That is all Stoffa is doing.

Anonymous said...


"Of course I want people to have health care, I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally," said Cindy Vinson, San Jose, CA on Obamacare.

About the only positive here is that liberals and unions are getting walloped too.

I give Stoffa credit for moving on this and bringing it to light.

Anonymous said...

County employees are just that. Employees. Except their pay is connected to what can be squeezed from the taxpayer. No other employee is paid so directly by us. Everything they want and need falls on the taxpayer. If their premium goes up I do not want to absurd that. Just like I would not for any other employee. I have my own expense
like everyone else who works and has responsibilities. Next thing they will reassess and hit us up there too. Enough already. Everyone should be expected to pay their own way. The real needy exempt.....

Anonymous said...

comment for person who left the comment at 2:04...

Really?! How moronic are you?? County employees are just that...employees, employees that pay taxes just like everyone else, who work hard at their jobs to get decent benefits, who do not get much from a raise in their paychecks...however, continue to come to work everyday because that is what has to be done. They want to raise the medical 900% and where is the raise in their paycheck?? Oh yea, there is none.

Oh and as for the "real needy"...who are they? Those that know how sit at home (instead of seeking employment) and take advantage of our welfare system to get benefits?

I just don't get it, you act like you pay extra in taxes to make up for the county employees...you don't...they pay their own taxes. Maybe you should have more of a problem about paying for the needy and less about the county employees.

Anonymous said...

The facts of the matter stand at...all insurance policy's that county workers have..union and non union fall way below the threshold of being a cadillac plan. even with increases in upcoming yrs all county policies will still be below the amount that is considered a cadillac plan.The actuary highly inflated those figures to Human Resourses.It draws off the COBRA rates. And the facts are that with people shopping for insurance rates Blue Cross rates will actually drop in the next few yrs to draw in more clients and be more competetive.

Anonymous said...

To all those people who are putting down county workers..i have been employed by the county for over 30 yrs.Thed only decent thing we have is our healthcare,i have raised 3 children and sent to of them to college ..did i mention after 30 yrs my hourly wage is only 15.65 an hour

Bernie O'Hare said...

Most county workers are hard-working dedicated employees willing to accept a lower salary for better benefits. Stoffa is right to seek a second opinion.

Anonymous said...

? barney - do u actually believe some of the shit you shovel?

Anonymous said...

I have a great deal of respect for John Stoffa. Nothing I am about to say reflects personally on him. I have over my work life received health care benefits from two different public sector employers. Both coverages were or are excellent and both cost the employer less than the rates that will create a Cadillac plan rating under the ACA. Why can other public sector employers offer employees very good coverage at a more reasonable cost than Northampton County currently pays? Should Northampton County perhaps shop its plan around to seek the same outstanding level of employee health benefits at a lower cost to the County?

Anonymous said...

So...he's kicking the can down the road for the next guy

Anonymous said...

For eight years he has blamed everyone but himself for county problems and yes he is kicking a bankrupt county down the road or the next guy.

What a guy!

Guy Williams said...

What no one has addressed is the county pension. Factor that into the compensation package for county workers. Im not the expert but cant a lower contribution by the county every year be used to offset higher healthcare costs by county workers.Pensions are whats stressing the budgets.When do you want your compensation now or in future.Look at the death rates for those newly retired.Come on people theres got to be a fair solution.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are so full of hate that nothing Stoffa does will satisfy you.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:03, You can't change pensions or unilaterally decide to reduce contributions below what is set by the actuary. That is incredibly short-sighted and is the reason why so many municipal governments are a financial mess.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Ok, Bernie, Here are questions; I will condense them--What stop gaps should be in place ,to keep otherwise well off people from dropping off Grandma at Gracedale and keeping the property if not in a trust?Is it OK to move here from the BRONX or Puerto Rico and have never paid any taxes and stage grandma here ?How much does the average patient cost per month? Are WE PAYING FOR GLASSES AND HEARING AIDS? Are we buying services that have no value on the real end outcome? Is The staff allowed to eat meals while on duty with out payment?

Peter J.Cochran said...

Aca-- Well a lot of you with OBAMA stickers on you car , do you fell stupid yet? You voted for you own problems as a union member and as an employer in in some cases.Well some of you get what you deserve.

Anonymous said...

I am one of the "feeders". I am a municipal employee with a bachelor's degree. I am thrilled to actually have a job, even though my pay rate is not where it should be. The trade off is the excellent benefits package. Oh and by the way, I did not vote for the "ass clown" .

Anonymous said...

As a county employee, I would like to say to John Stoffa, "Once, just once, could you communicate to the employees by email by ccing the County Council memo, instead of us reading things in the paper or on BO's blog?!"

Sorry Bernie, no offense.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Always a complainer.

Peter J.Cochran said...

9;38 Be proud of yourself then. A turnaround will happen and I will hope that you are a supervisor/stick to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. Those guys were smart and were detached from media and tv. They were willing to fight it out at any cost, meaning ,LIFE, BUT ARE WE? No we are a bunch of piss ants in comparison !

Anonymous said...

Thanks Peter. I am a proud American. Proud of myself and confident that I do the best work I can for my public. Hanging tough!

Anonymous said...

Stoffa has to fire that nut job he calls his personnel director. She is a poor excuse for a department head. She screwed several employees (you reported it on your blog) and now she opens her big dumb mouth and scares the hell out of thousands of workers and retirees with her poorly informed comments. She is a wingnut that must go.

Bernie O'Hare said...

She will. In December. No more lynch mobs, please.

Anonymous said...

She said nothing that Stoffa did not approve. None of his cabinet have the right to talkwithout clearing iot with him first, that is a fact! She is just the latest victim of the famous "throw you under the bus" Stoffa loyalty.

He is a a prince!

Anonymous said...

This Peter Cochran imbecile - he's actually complaining about caring for the destitute elderly? What an ass! This is the problem with the tea partiers - it's all me me me. Until one of their relatives needs help. A disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Aca-- Well a lot of you with OBAMA stickers on you car , do you fell stupid yet? You voted for you own problems as a union member and as an employer in in some cases.Well some of you get what you deserve.

What fucking problems? The problems you see are fabricated Fox News nonsense. My premiums have remained unchanged, my healthcare is exactly the same as it always has been. Dude, face it, Obama was reelected by a wide margin. Americans have rejected your selfish bullshit. Americans in every demographic from poor to highly educated.

Peter J.Cochran said...

I'm an ass?Well nobody wants Grandma to be without. But the building in Nazareth was put up for this counties older folks and was not intended to be a dumping ground for people that just show up. We need rules of eligibility.-- The big picture is however Mr. Wiseguy, next time you look at your big screen with the surround sound or jump into your leased Lexis that costs you $600.00 a month ask your self, Are you already providing for your WIDOW while you are working , or are you SPENDING YOUR RESERVES with the attitude that "I DESERVE IT" ? Post your name ,big boy! Take care of our family first, stop spending everything on crap,so someone else will pay your freight in life.I'm not tea party member ,I am an American citizen .

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about? You are a blithering fool.

I respect human beings and don't see them as some nuisance when they are old. Not everyone has everything work out for them in life.

Anonymous said...

County employees are for the most part lazy no good complainers. Most sit on their ass all day pushing papers - no physical labor. No wonder most are overweight and out of shape. The reason they need a Cadillac plan is because they fail to remain healthy. The less one does the more they are rewarded has always held true with the County. Look at Tom Harp for instance. Look at Al Criminalarro. Look at Judge McFatAss. The list can go on. The taxpayers will keep paying.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This comment almost definitely comes from West Easton troublemaker Tricia Mezzacappa, who has referred to Judge McFadden and other jurists in disparaging terms. If I know this, my guess is they do, too.