|Look what you did to Mr. Bigglesworth!|
In start contrast to last week's antics, a subdued Brown announced his concession at the end of last night's Council budget hearing, almost as though it were an afterthought. He even called it an "FYI."
Deciding to change the drapes would be an FYI. This was a bombshell.
The County is purchasing gap insurance for next year. This means employees will only have a $2,500-5,000 deductible.
Below is the compete exchange, which you can see yourself.
Brown: "Next week, you'l be receiving from the Administration a contract. The contract is related to the health care program that we're offering our employees. Cathy Allen's been working on this since July. We've created a gap insurance policy that will allow us to fundamentally create the secondary insurance policy that will create an out-of-pocket cap that's been asked for by the employees. If you are single, it will be $2,500. For families, it will be $5,000. The cost of that - a little over $100,000. It's a single source, a special program that's been put together specifically for Northampton County. The Administration will fund that for 2015 on behalf of the employees. It should meet their needs. But that will be coming to Council for next week."
Peg Ferraro: "So the gap insurance will be paid by the County?
Brown: "For 2015, the County will pay for that insurance. That will give the employees the time, which they've asked for, to be able to plan and then decide after a year of use of that type ofpolicy if it's something they would like to take up, and we'll take that up in '16."
Glenn Geissinger: I just want to be clear. So the out-of-pocket expense for a single individual - $2,500.For a family - $5,000.
Brown: That's with the secondary -
Geissinger: "- secondary insurance, which the County will be paying for."
Brown: "That is correct. That's what we're proposing, however until, you know, it would have to come before council."
Ken Kraft: "So, John, the gap insurance is covering from $2,500 to $6,600, that gap there -
Brown: - "Yes, that's correct. $5,000 for the $13,200 differential for a family."
Kraft: "So, it'll enact itself when the person has - let's say you're single - ... has $2,500 worth of healthcare costs. I'm paying 10% of it up front, so when I get to $2,500, then the gap insurance kicks in and I don't pay anymore for the rest of the year.
Brown: "That .. fundamentally ...
Kraft: "- I'm trying to simplify it."
Brown: "That's how the mechanics would work. Yes."
He's finally doing the decent and the right thing. But he's done a lot of damage, both to himself and to the County he serves. He has destroyed the morale of what he considers the County's most important asset. He needlessly stressed a large number of them, and the Civil Division has lost all four of its deputies as a result of his hardball approach to the staff.
He has lost the County workers and won't be getting them back, in my opinion. The employees and their family account for about 7,000 registered voters, and I am sure they will be at the polls the next time his name comes up.
Blogger's Note: Originally posted 10/29, 6 pm.