Posted: 9:02 am Monday, January 27th, 2014

Nathan Deal taps $100 million in reserves to provide fix for state employee health care plan 

By Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

nathan deal

Gov. Nathan Deal/AJC file

Soothing complaints from teachers over the state’s new health care plan won’t come cheaply.

Gov. Nathan Deal said Monday that it would cost about $100 million to make the changes that the Department of Community Health is expected to approve today in response to the outcry from some of the 650,000 teachers, public employees and their dependents.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogHe’s tapping the insurance plan’s reserve funds for the money rather than take from other parts of the budget, a move that would leave the account with roughly around $300 million. His proposal to increase K-12 funding by $547 million is off-limits, the governor said after an appearance at a gathering of the Georgia Municipal Association.

“We believe the reserve is adequate to cover any unexpected circumstances,” Deal said. “We had enough reserve in the account to be able to absorb these additional changes.”

Deal again said President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is partly to blame for the rising costs and fewer options under the new state plan. But he said the changes shouldn’t become fodder for a political blame game.

“I don’t think there should be any political blame at all. We are trying to do what is best for the citizens of our state and the taxpayers as well as those who work for the state, whether they be teachers or employees.”

But behind the scenes, a debate is raging over how to explain them.

The argument from Gov. Nathan Deal and other conservatives is that President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is partly to blame for the rising costs and fewer options under the new state plan.

Deal said as much last week, and some Republican lawmakers are using the tumult to push legislation that seeks to exempt the state health plan from changes under the Affordable Care Act.

***

The Georgia Municipal Association today has its Mayor’s Day at the state Capitol. The kickoff event is a U.S. Senate debate that will start within the next few minutes at the downtown Hilton Atlanta.

In the audience will be Edna Branch Jackson, the mayor of Savannah, who had breakfast with both House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

She has more traveling ahead of her. Tomorrow night, she’ll be U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s date at the State of the Union address by President Barack Obama.

“I’m excited. I’m humbled,” said Jackson, who said Isakson’s invitation was a mark of bipartisanship. “To do what you have to for your community, you have to deal across the aisle. [Isakson’s staff] have been very helpful with us.”

Isakson does this with some regularity. Last year, Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell was his guest.

But two reasons may behind Jackson’s invite: Georgia’s political leadership will be looking for some mention of federal cash for dredging the Port of Savannah. If that happens, Isakson and the mayor of Savannah arm-in-arm would make a timely photo.

Secondly, consider the invitation more proof that Isakson will be running for re-election in 2016.

***

The Georgia Municipal Association’s annual shindig this morning provided Gov. Nathan Deal with fodder for an endorsement. Flanked by a few dozen mayors, the governor’s campaign announced the endorsements of about 110 mayors across the state.

Among them: Deke Copenhaver of Augusta, Boyd Austin of Dallas, and Ames Barnett of Washington, who runs a town that is about 70 percent Democratic. Deal talked of a rebounding Georgia economy, and promised more job announcements were in the works.

***

Speaking of the Port of Savannah: A Wall Street Journal article this morning looks at how earmarks have survived in Congress, picking out one particular Republican candidate for U.S. Senate:

Rep. Jack Kingston (R., Ga.), who is running in a crowded GOP primary field for a Senate seat, faced a particularly ticklish dilemma. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, he was well positioned to shape the bill. He used that influence to advance a provision to expedite federal funding of a huge infrastructure project crucial to Georgia, the dredging of Savannah harbor.

It was a coup, but Mr. Kingston voted against the bill on grounds that it spent too much overall. He was the only member of the appropriations committee to vote against the measure, a move that colleagues attributed to him facing a primary slate of Republicans competing to establish themselves as the most conservative candidate.

***

Attorney General Sam Olens doesn’t have to worry about a Democratic challenger quite yet. We’re told his 2010 opponent, Ken Hodges, is staying out of the race. And our colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin brings us the news this morning that Lester Tate, the ex-State Bar of Georgia president, has decided against a bid.

From Sheinin’s dispatch:

Tate, a Cartersville lawyer, said Democratic Party of Georgia chairman DuBose Porter and others approached him to consider a race against Republican incumbent Attorney General Sam Olens. But he said his two children, both in college, demand his attention.

“I did think about it very seriously,” Tate said. “I just decided it wasn’t the right time for me. It’s something I might like to do at some point in the future. It’s just not the right time for me.”

***

Our AJC colleagues Bill Torpy and Johnny Edwards had what was likely the most important piece of the weekend in political Georgia:

Almost a decade since Sandy Springs set the incorporation template, six cities in Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties have been created. Today, 44 of the 46 elected officials in those cities are white, the lone exception being a Hispanic councilman in Johns Creek who steps down next week. One seat is vacant.

And in the history of those cities, of the 66 people elected since their inception, just one was black, a councilwoman, also in Johns Creek.

Almost no one involved with the incorporations would say race is a factor in the cities’ creation. But the stark results give new ammunition to opponents’ claims that the cities were a plan to erect new racial barriers and siphon revenue from areas that have a limited tax base for public services.

***

In the “Week Ahead in Washington,” Malloy looks at the State of the Union and the state of flood insurance reform.

***

The New York Times on Sunday offered a front page piece on Michelle Nunn and her U.S. Senate bid. From the article:

“I know the Nunns; they’re fine people,” said Larry Walker, a former Democratic leader of the Georgia House, who does legal work for the former senator. Yet Mr. Walker, whose politics now tilt Republican, is neutral so far.

Ms. Nunn is not Georgia’s only legacy Democrat. Jason Carter, a grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, is trying to unseat Gov. Nathan Deal. Mr. Walker is skeptical. “Political legacies don’t last like they used to,” he said.

The content of the article is of less importance than the fact that such national attention will likely help Nunn turn in a large fund-raising number by the end of this week, reinforcing her status as a formidable Democratic opponent to whoever survives the GOP primary runoff in July.

(Nunn, by the way, turned away the Georgia Municipal Association’s invitation to a debate this morning with fellow Democrat Branko “Dr. Rad” Radulovacki. He’ll be on the stage alone.)

***

Bill Barrow of the Associated Press took a big-picture look at the Republican side of the race. Barrow quotes Phil Gingrey’s departed general consultant, warning about the primary’s rightward pull:

Republican consultant Chip Lake, who worked briefly for Gingrey’s campaign in 2013, said the key to holding the white suburban vote “is nominating the most electable conservative.” Of course, Lake conceded, the GOP primary puts the definition of conservative up for grabs.

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of us in the movement who would rather win that argument than win elections,” he said.

***

Apparently, one of the two candidates in the Feb. 4 special election runoff for state House District 2, to replace Jay Neal, is hinting that he’s got the backing of U.S. Rep. Tom Graves. But Graves is saying it ain’t so:

“I want to make it clear to Georgians in House District 2 that I have not made an endorsement in the Special Election Runoff.  Any use of my name or image on campaign materials in this race has been done without my knowledge or approval.

“My staff has been in contact with the campaigns to reiterate that I will not make an endorsement in this race and to request that they immediately stop using any potentially misleading material involving my name.  This election will be decided by the people of District 2 and I’m confident that either of the candidates will serve well and represent the values of North Georgia.”

The two surviving candidates, both Republican, are Steve Tarvin and Neal Florence.

78 comments
jaggar1
jaggar1

Yes, Governor Deal is trying his best to blame Obama, the teachers and state workers, and anyone but his crooked self. We paid into our insurance plan, had the money to pay for it, and he depleted it and then raised our premiums by 50%. His puppets had the nerve to state that retirees and employees emptied the fund. Please vote him out in the primary on May 20th! Deal also had Senators pointing the finger at John Barge stating he had approved the insurance plan. That is funny because John Barge is running against Deal and is the State Super of Education, did Deal truly think we would buy into that? Thanks to Ashley Cline of Woodstock, we came out strong and will continue fighting corrupt politicians like Governor Deal!

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

Governor Deal is "tapping the insurance plan’s reserve funds for the money rather than take from other parts of the budget."  Ah yes.  So he's taking the money from the state employees' and teachers' own insurance fund to give back to them as additional insurance benefits, thus depleting the reserves even further.


What a shell game.

notagain
notagain

Beware any politican bearing gifts before election.Only trying to influence your vote.Need all new faces.Show Junkyard Deal the door along with the others.

NikoleA
NikoleA

Don't be fooled by Deal's change of heart.  He'll do the same thing next year.  ACA had nothing to do with these changes.  We've been under several mandates of the bill for years and we have always had some choice in providers.  I'll be sure to vote AGAINST him in both the primary and general election.

dreluv
dreluv

Please don't vote for Nathan Deal he trying to hurt the poor and middle class Georgian.

What about Nathan Deal cutting 680,000 poor Georgian off of Medicaid...I hope all these

680,000 Georgian vote him out of the office.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

EdUktr


EdUktr, you are only going by one line from that AJC article which states: "Employees, on average, pay 25 percent of the cost of their health insurance, and the government 75 percent."


The article does not describe what is meant by the word "government."  The article does not say the "taxpayers" pay for 75% of state workers health insurance.  It says the "government" pays 75% and that "government" is probably the state of Georgia or the DCH, itself, which has invested the monies teachers have put into their own health insurance premiums as a group.  That invested money probably became the reserves in the state workers DCH which were removed by the Perdue administration 4 years ago supposedly to pay for other "government" needs.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Below is a factual accounting of how teacher retirement pensions are paid mainly by the teachers, themselves, through the investment of their own reserves.  This data was presented by a TRS auditor at the  ODE - Retired teachers' meeting in February of 2013:


Slide #10: FUNDING: Source of Funds


 - Contributions:
        * Employer:              State . . . . . . . . 14%              Local . . . . . . . . 10%              Total . . . . . . . .  24%


          * Employee . . . . . . 13% 
- Investment Earnings . . .63%  


MY NOTES: "Employee" at 13% refers to actively employed teachers.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Notice that the total of the state and local contributions come to 24% and the total of the teachers' contributions (direct and investment of teachers' funds) comes to 76%, making the 100% of pension payout, together. So, even though teacher (or employee) contributions were only 13%, the total investment return on teachers' pooled monies came to 63% and together (direct payments and invested payments) equals 74% of teacher retirement money.  The speaker said that that figure, of 74%, was low because of the Recession for how much teachers contribute to their own retirement funds. He said that in some years, when the economy was better, teacher investments monies (made with teachers' direct contributions) made total teachers' contributions to their own retirement at 100%, not 74%. 


I believe that the reserve funds in the DCH were probably invested funds also - those were the "government" funds the AJC quoted, no doubt.  You do not look deeply enough, EdUktr. Study and probe deeper. 

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

By the numbers -

There are approximately 400,000 full/part time government employees in the state of Georgia.  Double that to add a family member, but take it away for a projected turnout of about half for a mid- term election with about 3 million total voters, and see that state worker families only make up about 10 - 15% of voters.  Note that not ALL state workers vote Democratic, and the rest of the state voters are very red, and will once again swamp this Democratic party voting base - especially when there is not a black candidate at the top of the ballot.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

"As Jay Bookman wrote in his Sunday column, "Government does some things better than private entities. I understand that is blasphemy in some circles, but it is true nonetheless."  What Bookman wrote is true. I hope that Georgia's Republican leaders will begin to see that and stop hurting state workers."

Yes and the libs like Barnes did nothing, absolutely nothing, to hurt state workers???  Funny.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

"Beware of the MAN with a hand Full of CASH, while the other Hand is a CLINCHED FIST.

We ALL MUST come together as ONE and VOTE "NO" to Governor DEAL for a Second Term. 

Georgia Deserves Better"

Yes and too bad the lame GA liberals have no one who is better to nominate - it has been the story for the crappy libs in this state - just look at them renominating the proven loser Barnes.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

Let the teachers sign up for Obamacare.  The teachers, teachers unions and professional teachers associations all supported this so let them have it.

Bernie31
Bernie31

WOW! This is another reason why this Governor should Not have EVER been Elected and why a Re-Election will only bring more of the same and worse for the People of Georgia. If any of you think if this was not an Election CYCLE that this Governor would take such an ACTION, I have a Bridge that you should really see...

Beware of the MAN with a hand Full of CASH, while the other Hand is a CLINCHED FIST.

We ALL MUST come together as ONE and VOTE "NO" to Governor DEAL for a Second Term. 

Georgia Deserves Better

EdUktr
EdUktr

So you're saying Jim Salzer at the AJC had it wrong? That he doesn't understand "the numbers" as well ... as you do?

Charles50
Charles50

@The_Centrist There are approximately  60,000 state employees.  The number of people insured include families and retirees bringing it up to over 600,000. 

MoFaux
MoFaux

@The_Centrist Not all state workers are Democrats?  That is a bold statement, care to back that up with facts?  I'm certain that at least 123% of state workers are Democrats.

td1234
td1234

@The_Centrist There are 650,000 state employees, teachers and retirees covered by the current insurance plan. I agree that they will not make a difference in the general election but they can make a huge difference in the primary where Deal won in 2009 with 291,000 votes. 


Deal understands this as well and this is the reason he is rushing to  spend $100 million today to stop them from coming to the polls on May 20th to vote for Dr. Barge. 


45% turnout of Teachers and State employees in the primary would send him to retirement, especially since there is a candidate that Democrat Teachers could actually feel good to vote for instead of coming out on just an angry vote.  

DannyX
DannyX

@MiltonMan, yes MiltonMan, because electing ethically challenged and personally bankrupt Nathan Deal governor worked out great!  The man can't even handle his personal finances and was given the combination to the state safe.  Genius!

NikoleA
NikoleA

I actually wanted to, however, we had to sign up for coverage through the state by a deadline, and I never could navigate the web page well enough to find out if I qualified for discounts.  If I do, I will be sure to do so next year. 

birchleg
birchleg

@MiltonMan Yeah, because all teachers are liberals and all state employees are teachers. It's not wonder we are in this current plight with this shallow of gene pool! I'm out of here!

EdUktr
EdUktr

Yes! They have the option of declining SHBP coverage and going to the Obamacare website (when it's actually working).

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@EdUktr


See my response above and below that will demonstrate that you did not read that article closely enough.  The AJC article stated that the "government" covered 75%, not the "taxpayers," as you have assumed and written. You have not probed deeply enough.  The "government" is the state of Georgia itself, or even the DCH, itself, which had reserves, which were probably invested monies, not "taxpayers" contributions.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@EdUktr


EdUktr, you are only going by one line from that AJC article which states: "Employees, on average, pay 25 percent of the cost of their health insurance, and the government 75 percent."


The article does not describe what is meant by the word "government."  The article does not say the "taxpayers" pay for 75% of state workers health insurance.  It says the "government" pays 75% and that "government" is probably the state of Georgia or the DCH, itself, which has invested the monies teachers have put into their own health insurance premiums as a group.  That invested money probably became the reserves in the state workers DCH which were removed by the Perdue administration 4 years ago supposedly to pay for other "government" needs.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Below is a factual accounting of how teacher retirement pensions are paid mainly by the teachers, themselves, through the investment of their own reserves.  This data was presented by a TRS auditor at the  ODE - Retired teachers' meeting in February of 2013:


Slide #10: FUNDING: Source of Funds


 - Contributions:
        * Employer:              State . . . . . . . . 14%              Local . . . . . . . . 10%              Total . . . . . . . .  24%


          * Employee . . . . . . 13% 
- Investment Earnings . . .63%  


MY NOTES: "Employee" at 13% refers to actively employed teachers.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Notice that the total of the state and local contributions come to 24% and the total of the teachers' contributions (direct and investment of teachers' funds) comes to 76%, making the 100% of pension payout, together. So, even though teacher (or employee) contributions were only 13%, the total investment return on teachers' pooled monies came to 63% and together (direct payments and invested payments) equals 74% of teacher retirement money.  The speaker said that that figure, of 74%, was low because of the Recession for how much teachers contribute to their own retirement funds. He said that in some years, when the economy was better, teacher investments monies (made with teachers' direct contributions) made total teachers' contributions to their own retirement at 100%, not 74%. 


I believe that the reserve funds in the DCH were probably invested funds also - those were the "government" funds the AJC quoted, no doubt.  You do not look deeply enough, EdUktr. Study and probe deeper. 


MoFaux
MoFaux

@EdUktr In other news, taxpayers also pay 100% of state workers' salaries as well.  We've got to figure out a way to get these lazy gubmint workers off the taxpayer teat, and have them pay their own salaries.  Leeches, I tell ya!!!!

birchleg
birchleg

@EdUktr Taxpayers covering 75% of a mismanaged state fund,  does not translate into state workers getting great healthcare coverage at the taxpayers expense. SBHP wastes the taxpayers money and needs a great deal of over-site and transparency to translate those dollars into better healthcare for it's members.

td1234
td1234

@EdUktr And how much does most corporations of the same size subsidize their employees in the private sector? 

anothercomment
anothercomment

@td1234@The_Centrist Many Dems and Independents like I, will also be voting for John Barge. I voted for him in the last election.


Then we will have Barge vs. Carter a good clean race. Both offering improvements to education and the middle class families.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@td1234 - You and I disagree over the percentage of Democrats among state worker families and how many will crossover to the Republican primary.  I doubt polls will be able to come close to either actual turnout or crossover primary voting for a mid-term election (likely voters).

I doubt Pennington and Barge will even force a runoff, and think if there is a runoff - it will be Deal and Pennington instead of Barge.  Sorry.

anothercomment
anothercomment

@NikoleA Nicole if you are single and under 30 you can buy a private plan directly from Humana that is exactly like the one on the Exchange That is the Humana Nationwide POS for around 200. That is without any credits and is far better coverage than what the State is offering Teachers.

Charles50
Charles50

@EdUktr For the last time NO THEY DO NOT.  There are just a handful of employees who MIGHT qualify for Obamacare.  For the most part the state supposedly designed the healthcare plan so that it was in full compliance with ACA.  Remember, that's what the Governor claims is costing so much.  As a result, persons eligible for state healthcare who are not covered by their spouse has to be covered by the employee plan and cannot go to the marketplace.  By doing so they can actually cause their agency to be fined.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Seems you're saying Jim Salzer at the AJC had it wrong. That he doesn't understand "the numbers" as well as you do?

Charles50
Charles50

@MoFaux @EdUktr It bugs the h@ll out of me when people say that stupid crap.  I think you're being facetious, but in case your'e not:  


News flash--STATE EMPLOYEES ARE ALSO TAXPAYERS.  

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@MoFaux@EdUktr


To underscore the obvious for readers who may not understand fully. Taxpayers pay for services rendered by state workers.  State workers do not work for a profit-based private corporation. They work for the not-for-profit state government which provides citizens with services for which they pay taxes. Do citizens really expect a "free ride" for services for which they do not want to pay?  The states's citizens/taxpayers use many services daily provided to them by the state through state workers, including services in education, transportation, natural resources, etc.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Yes! It translates into EXACTLY that, dummy ..!

anothercomment
anothercomment

@td1234@EdUktr I spoke to one of the men working at Bank of America today. While he was trying to call one of their other offices to get a charge removed for me and we were on indefinite hold. A Single person at Bank of America only pays about $50 every two  weeks, which is a lot less, than what 25%. He told me he now only had 1 choice. But then he found out some people still had choice of three plans. So I asked him if he was an AVP or higher. He said no after 8 years. I said that is the difference. I used to work for a bank, and I was signing of on bills and invoices. So I made them make me an AVP, it is part of the Banking Laws to sign of on approvals you have to be a bank officer. The don't pay AVP's more but you get an extra week of vacation and better benefits. I told him that was a final part of the ACA, that they were still working on that Executives could not receive better insurance benefits then rank and file employees. They are still writing the rules.

td1234
td1234

@The_Centrist From being on the TRAGIC FB page it appears there are a good number of Teachers that are planning on crossing over in the primary to vote for Barge and then will vote for Carter in the general election. Most every Republican teacher I know or have seen state in public was planning on voting for Barge in the primary before this about the insurance. Now the question is has Deal's move this morning slowed down the intensity and determination of them.  

MoFaux
MoFaux

@MaryElizabethSings Right.  These fools are anarchists that apparently want to go out and fix their own potholes and design their own bridges and teach their own kids...because that is what will happen if we pay our evil gubmint workers minimum wage with no benefits.

anothercomment
anothercomment

@EdUktr Are you suffering from dementia already? Even if we assume that birth control pills were paid prior at a $25 monthly co-pay. That became to high for many women in the most fertile 16-25 range. $300 a year. Now that is free, what a relief for so many woman trying to work their way through school.


Yes, you just say no, bible thumpers, especially the bigger bible thumpers you are, your kids are having sex. No matter how much you say no. The more you said no, the more they say yes. My daughter tells me about the drunken Soriety Sister's.


The average cost of having a baby prenatal and delivery, non-c section is at $6000. C-section easily is triple. Sex without birth control especially in the most fertile years is like playing Russian roulette.  Basically if you are trying to get pregnant up to 35 and having sex twice a week, the Doctors will tell you should be Pregnant within a year. It is much higher with the very fertile younger girls. So how many of us would rather our insurance pay $300 extra a year vs paying $6000 + for every unplanned pregnancy. Unplanned young pregnancies increase dependency on social services. Their are no shot gun marriages anymore. Their is little social pressure to put these babies up for adoption.


I would say lets cut cost by dropping every male enhancement drug. The little blue pill, the low T-roll on. All of them don't work unless you have the big bankroll to go with them. Then what do you really want to spend your life with a 20 year old who thinks your disgusting if not for your bucks.

anothercomment
anothercomment

@birchleg@EdUktr 


The federal Employee base plan is $309 per month 25% share by employee for a Blue Cross and Blue Shield POS plan that every hospital in Atlanta area is in network. I only know of a couple of doctors who are not. Their is no deductible and the copays are $25/35; $10 Generics. IF you want a POS you can pay $400 and have $20/30 copays and have a $375 deductible per person and go to any doctor anywhere for 30%.


But their are 17 plans to choose from in Atlanta, and every part of the country employees had at least 7. If you wanted barebones or an HSA you could pay less than $309 unless you have a child support order to provide insurance.


Banks, Coke, Medical Products, NAPA, Pharma Companies, Fortune 500 all have better coverage than the Federal Employees Plan. 

anothercomment
anothercomment

@EdUktr Th6e Teachers plan is crap, because Deal and his cronies are stealing from it. It is only comparable to a Bronze level plan on the exchange.


The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Gold plan on the Exchange is far superior. As is the Humana National Platinum POS, The Kaiser Gold 0/20 Plan which is a true HMO, just to name a few. Even if you pay the full price without any Federal assistance these plans are all less than the $1800 the State Plan is billing for their Self-insured plan for Family plans. They can range from $550 for a under 30 family of 3 to about $1,200-1,400 for most families with a 50, 40, and 2-3 kids, then up to $1,500-1600 for the worst case of two 63-64 year olds.  So unless every person in the teacher and State employee plan smokes some one is stealing about $500-600 per family per month.

Charles50
Charles50

@birchleg @EdUktr Exactly.  I remember when I became an employee over 15 years ago.  We didn't get paid as much as private industry, but we had good benefits and lots of holidays.  Plus I didn't have to work 60 hours a week.  Then 2008 came.  No raises since then and health insurance cost climbing.  Plus employees being forced to take furlough days.  But now you're caught between a rock and hard place.  You're vested with the state and there are too few jobs in the private sector for the number of people who need them.  Not to mention the 60 hour weeks.  

Smokeyab
Smokeyab

@birchleg @EdUktr Retirees pay the same as active members. We just pay it with a fraction on the income.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@EdUktr  AND thanks to Medicare, which you must receive. You don't have to worry about SHBP shortcomings at all, because Medicare picks up the slack.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Adding 25 year olds to their parent's policy isn't without cost even in Utopia ...

Ditto regarding the new requirements for added female services.

birchleg
birchleg

@EdUktr The state health benefits have been going downhill for the last six years, it has nothing to do with obamacare.

birchleg
birchleg

@EdUktr ($540/mo x 12) + 1500 deductible / 44,000 = 18% of my gross salary for healthcare. What a freakin bargain!

EdUktr
EdUktr

That was THEN. This is NOW (under Obamacare).

birchleg
birchleg

@EdUktr well clearly retirees must have much better healthcare coverage than active members because my healthcare coverage sucks compared to what I got in the private sector.

EdUktr
EdUktr

I'm a retired Georgia K-12 teacher covered (along with my non-teacher spouse) by SHBP. And I'm also a Georgia taxpayer. Whatever its shortcomings, the SHBP is far cheaper than comparable coverage in the private sector—thanks to those subsidies.  

birchleg
birchleg

@EdUktr Or are you still under your parents plan living in the basement?

birchleg
birchleg

@EdUktrI'm the one who has the crappy healthcare, but I'm the dummy. Tell me genius, what do you pay for healthcare and what are your deductibles?

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