Posted: 8:07 am Monday, January 27th, 2014

Legislative tip sheet: A morning debate of Senate candidates 

By Jim Galloway

The Georgia Municipal Association will host a downtown Atlanta forum for candidates for Senate, starting with the GOP crew at 9:15 a.m. Witnesses will be city officials from across the state.

The Senate will be in at 10 a.m.; the House at 11. Calendars for both chambers are light.

Georgia’s health department is set to vote on a rewrite of the state’s new healthcare plan that would replace big out-of-pocket expenses with smaller copayments for office visits and pharmacy services. The plan, which covers 650,000 state workers and their dependents, comes after an outcry from teachers and others that quickly caught the attention of politicians in an election year.

Questions remain, namely whether a new plan will cut into the cost savings that made the controversial switch attractive to Gov. Nathan Deal in the first place. The meeting starts at 10 a.m.

The state Capitol will see a Moral Monday rally at 4 p.m. that will focus, again, on Medicaid expansion.

6 comments
RoadScholar
RoadScholar

When state employees and teachers get to 65 yrs old, we have to go to Medicare.


How about replacing the monies that were excesses a few years ago and used to balance the budget back into the healthcare pot? They did the same thing to the state employees retirement fund (not the teachers though!) and not only never replaced the state portion diverted, but also reduced the states' portion of the costs due to one year...one year...of profits from investments.

DS
DS

Unless I'm missing something, I don't think the state health insurance objections are calling for the state to spend more on health insurance contributions for state workers; the complaints are that the state should offer more competition and options.

For example, there should be at least 2 insurers competing against each other. (Currently there's only one insurer offering plans.) And these insurers should offer a range of plans with different copays and deductibles. 

If an employee wants a more generous plan, then he or she can have a bigger payroll deduction to help pay for it. But the state should keep the cost of health insurance employer subsidies within the amount budgeted. If they want to budget more, fine, but I don't think that's what the hubbub is about.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Taxpayers now pay approximately 75% of the policy premium for teachers and other SHBP members. And members get to keep their subsidized plans for life after retirement.

EdUktr
EdUktr

... but our under age 65 spouses get to remain on heavily subsidized SHBP healthcare even when we're on Medicare.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

So?  My private employer pays about 75% of the cost of my medical insurance too. 

What's the big deal?

EdUktr
EdUktr

The big deal is that almost no one else out there can say the same.