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Commission Increases County Employees’ Health Costs Against Steep Opposition

| August 9, 2010

flagler county health plan insurance county commission

County employees turned up in full force but weren't able to limit a steep rise in health insurance costs. (© FlaglerLive)

Health insurance premiums for Flagler County government’s 630 employees will increase significantly beginning Oct. 1. (See the rate chart below.)

A single employee, who is paying no premium currently, will pay either $55 or $20 a month depending on the option chosen. An employee paying for family coverage will see premiums increase from $201 a month to either $326 a month or $220 a month, depending on the option chosen. The lower-cost option comes with a higher deductible and higher co-pays.

The Flagler County Commission voted 3-2 just after 3:30 p.m. today to adopt the new cost structure. Commissioners Barbara Revels, Milissa Holland and Alan Peterson voted for the new plan. Commissioners Bob Abbot and George Hanns voted against. Abbott is running for re-election.

Hanns, immediately after the vote, remarkably conceded that “this was passed and it was probably the right thing to do, but my own personal feelings on it, I’m just overly sympathetic. Maybe I’ve been doing this too long.”

“And you don’t think that we are either?” Revels said.

“I’m just speaking for myself,” Hanns said.

“It hurts,” Revels said, “it hurts to know that somebody may to crimp on their groceries or something like that for their health insurance and yet I know that there are citizens in this county that are going to be doing the same thing, yet may not pay their taxes, because they can’t pay their homeowner’s taxes.”

Hanns himself, moments earlier, had noted that even Medicare beneficiaries are facing significant premium increases, adding: “The majority of people I know that are working secondary jobs in their seventies is because they, in some cases, outlived their pensions, in other cases just can’t make ends meet.”

The new premium structure, while more expensive for county employees, remains less expensive than that of employees in the school district or in county government in Volusia or St. Johns counties.

During the morning portion of the meeting (the workshop portion), more than 100 county employees, including firefighters and sheriff’s deputies, filled the meeting room at the county’s Emergency Operations Center, where the county commission held one of its longest budget meetings of the year for most of the day. The health plan took up the first 110 minutes of the day as numerous employees addressed the commission (some of them fearful over the consequence of doing so) to describe how premium increases in another year without raises may be the difference between viability and bankruptcy. “This is not the time to cut everybody’s pay,” one employee said.

The county administration provided commissioners three options, two of which would have lowered employee costs when compared with a tentative plan the commission had adopted in May. By way of compromise, commissioners agreed to increase the county’s contribution and decrease employee contributions, but only slightly, while adding $78,500 to taxpayers’ (and the county’s budget) expenses. It shaved off some $16 from the monthly premiums of employees with family coverage, leaving them $327 a month.

The commission re-convened in a special meeting, when it could take votes, after lunch. It was during that meeting that the commission approved the new structure.

“We haven’t done a whole lot. $16 is not a lot of money,” Richard Bennet, president of the Flagler County firefighters’ union, told commissioners, when it became clear they wouldn’t lower employee costs further. He referred to the less expensive of the two insurance plans the county is adopting–the Blue Option–but without much faith in it. “Everybody keeps steering us toward this Blue Option. Yeah it might be good for some people, but the majority, I’m not sure it would be. I don’t know. This is my last plea to have you look at the options. It seems we can do better than the $16 savings.”

Gail Wadsworth, who re-introduced herself as “single person, clerk of court,” told commissioners that they’d heard a plea from employees not to be hit with the premium increases all at once–and that she would be considering taking her employees off the county plan in the future.

“I understand their concerns. I think this was the best compromise that we could come up with,” Commissioner Milissa Holland said when it was time to vote.

Back in May, after extensive analysis, the Flagler County Commission settled on a new health plan for its 630 employees, there were a couple of encouraging developments for them. The county agreed to contract for an in-house health clinic as one way to control costs in the county’s self-insured health plan. And the proposed health plan would also lessen some out-of-pocket expenses. (“I’m hanging a lot of my hat on the clinic being successful, having the right doctor selected,” Revels said, hoping to see the county’s health costs go down by having an in-house clinic.)

But health insurance premiums were set to rise regardless, significantly for employees with families. The increase is particularly painful when coupled with a third year without raises for county employees, resulting in a net pay cut for most.

For a family plan, premiums would rise from 201.18 a month this year to $327 beginning Oct. 1, a $1,500 increase over the year, or a 5.8 percent pay cut for that $26,0000-a-year job (or 4.3 percent cut for someone making $35,000). The “Blue Option” charges almost three times the deductible as the regular plan and higher co-pays. That plan, too, would increase premiums across the board, but not as much.

“The employees have got to pay some of this increase in cost,” Commissioner Alan Peterson said. “I don’t like to do it. I understand it’ll cost some people some hardship, but we’ve got a lot of taxpayers out there that are in the same boat.”

Flagler County Employees' New Health Premium Costs

Premiums and BenefitsCurrent CostsApproved for 2010-11, Blue OptionsApproved for 2010-11, PPO
Monthly Premium: Employee only$0$20$54.95
Monthly Premium:
Employee and spouse
$97.79$107.08$193.76
Monthly Premium:
Employee and children
$77.61$84.98$143.48
Monthly Premium:
Full family
$201.18$220.29$326.92
Deductible, per individuals$300$500$300
Deductible, per family$600$1,500$600
Out of network deductible, per individual$700$1,500$700
Out of network deductible, family$1,400$4,500$1,400
Co-pay at Dr. visits, primary care$15$25$15
Co-pay at Dr. visits, specialist$25$60$25
Inpatient hospital servicesCoveredCYD & coinsuranceCYD & coinsurance
Outpatient surgeryCoveredCYD & coinsuranceCYD & coinsurance
Note: County commissioners approved the schedules above on Aug. 9. Source: Flagler County Commission
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38 Responses for “Commission Increases County Employees’ Health Costs Against Steep Opposition”

  1. County Worker says:

    “The employees have got to pay some of this increase in cost,” Commissioner Alan Peterson said. “I don’t like to do it. I understand it’ll cost some people some hardship, but we’ve got a lot of taxpayers out there that are in the same boat.”

    They need to open there eyes and realize that we are tax payers to. Saying that this will cause some people a hardship is an understatement.

  2. lou says:

    Each County employee should pay even more for their health care . I guess they do not care that the rsidents are really hurting and do not make nearly as much as they do.

    The waste in the spending on buildings and staff is awful for our county – then for employees to think they need to pay so little for health care is awful.

    The tax rate should be the same as last year and each department should be cut by a minimum of 15% to pay for this.

    Obviously the county employees do not care at all about the residents – they are hurting

  3. jake says:

    To all county employees – you need to pay more .

    Most residents pay who pay your salaries do not get paid as much as any of the employees, and pay dearly for there own health insuance

    Boy do you county employees sound selfish and self centered.

  4. jane says:

    To all the county staff who are complaining – guess you are not part of the 9.5% unemployed.

    County shoud charge you more for health care !!!

    Be happy you have such a good paying salary and are not on unemployment

  5. over it says:

    Generally, one of MAJOR reasons that counties are able to hire and retain qualified people, is the benefit package. The state retirement packages that are available and “affordable” read: inexpensive, health care. This is true all over, not just Flagler County. If these cost continue to rise you will see quality employees move to the private sector. They will start to figure out that if they can make more money and the healthcare costs are the same, why stick around FC? Better money? NO public scrutiny? Sounds like a better environment to me. Especially with the seemingly disgruntled residents of FC…….. Case in point is the above quote: “Each County employee should pay even more for their health care . I guess they do not care that the residents are really hurting and do not make nearly as much as they do.”

    One of the unique things about FC to me, is that I have NEVER seen such a big divide between people and gov’t at the county level like i have here. Having lived in Volusia, worked in Seminole and Orange, I have never heard such disdain for the county worker from the public like I hear around here.

  6. jane says:

    Boy are you unaware what it is like in the private sector –

    In the past salaries in the private sector were higher (but benefits and pensions were never as good as those for public employees).

    Now look at the national statisics, as well as local – salaries now are better in the private sector. Pensions and benefits are so far above even the fortune 500 companies. T

  7. ItsMe says:

    So now lets be haters of those who have jobs because people with jobs fighting an increase should just be glad they have good paying salaries. What do these county employees make that is such a good salary Jane? Because from what I know it runs the gamut. Also, who’s to say some will have jobs in the future? One of the candidates for re election will look to lay off one half of a married couple if both work for the county as a cost cutting measure. He said so.

    I applaud them for taking a stand and trying to maintain the current rate.

    And County Worker, you are correct. Many people (like Jane perhaps) don’t realize county employees are tax payers too.

  8. County Worker says:

    over it you hit the nail on the head. There seems to be an absolute hatred of any government employee here. My so many think we are so highly paid is beyond me. I understand that health insurance costs are on the rise but there comes a point where wages must be increased to somewhat offset the cost.

  9. Rickg says:

    Once again here is another argument for a SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM. Health care costs are going to keep rising and someone will have to pay the cost. The entire nation should be in the pool which will reduce the overall expense. And once the profit motive is eliminated everyone will get a fair shot at equality in health care. Profiting off health insurance is not moral and I hope Rick Scott gets an earful.

  10. Bob K says:

    Oh sure; and how long do you think it will be before the federal government’s ineptness at running a healthcare system will cost more than the profit the insurance companies make?

  11. over it says:

    jane: You say “Boy are you unaware what it is like in the private sector -”

    I am unaware? but you go on to prove my point??

    “In the past salaries in the private sector were higher (but benefits and pensions were never as good as those for public employees).” – Yes, thats was what i said. And??

    “Now look at the national statisics, as well as local – salaries now are better in the private sector. Pensions and benefits are so far above even the fortune 500 companies. ” – I think you meant to say public instead of private.

    So you know about the FRS (Florida Retirement System)?? It’s is VERY good. and after the county’s increase, it’s STILL half of what I pay every month. Thankfully, i make double what i would working for county government. And how do I know all of this you may ask? I have turned down jobs in local gov’t in the past because “it just doesn’t pay well enough”

    County worker, keep doing what you are doing. It may seem like no one in this county gives a crap, but don’t let the negativity get you down.

  12. epic fail says:

    Bob K : Well, it shouldn’t be too long as long as citizens like yourself WILL it to fail. As long as half the country want the program to fail. It will. I know what you mean though, cuz the present system is just GREAT. I get to pay 10,000 dollars a year and if thats not enough, I am privileged to spend another 2000 before the insurance company has to pay ANYTHING. yeah, great system bob. Should i thank you? If not you, then whom???

  13. Dawg says:

    If Peterson & Revels were up for re-election, this would all be a moot point. Bottom line….politics as usual.

  14. John Coffey says:

    The attached story tells a sad tale, and it’s the same for City, County, State and Federal Employees. The end is clearly insight, Chapter 9 Filing are going to happen at every level.

    At a time when workers’ pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees’ average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
    Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.

    Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.

    The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year.

    Public employee unions say the compensation gap reflects the increasingly high level of skill and education required for most federal jobs and the government contracting out lower-paid jobs to the private sector in recent years.

    “The data are not useful for a direct public-private pay comparison,” says Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.

    Chris Edwards, a budget analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, thinks otherwise. “Can’t we now all agree that federal workers are overpaid and do something about it?” he asks.

    Last week, President Obama ordered a freeze on bonuses for 2,900 political appointees. For the rest of the 2-million-person federal workforce, Obama asked for a 1.4% across-the-board pay hike in 2011, the smallest in more than a decade. Federal workers also would qualify for seniority pay hikes.

    Congressional Republicans want to cancel the across-the-board increase in 2011, which would save $2.2 billion.

    “Americans are fed up with public employee pay scales far exceeding that in the private sector,” says Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the second-ranking Republican in the House.

    Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., says a pay freeze would unfairly scapegoat federal workers without addressing real budget problems.

    What the data show:

    •Benefits. Federal workers received average benefits worth $41,791 in 2009. Most of this was the government’s contribution to pensions. Employees contributed an additional $10,569.

    •Pay. The average federal salary has grown 33% faster than inflation since 2000. USA TODAY reported in March that the federal government pays an average of 20% more than private firms for comparable occupations. The analysis did not consider differences in experience and education.

    •Total compensation. Federal compensation has grown 36.9% since 2000 after adjusting for inflation, compared with 8.8% for private workers.

  15. kmedley says:

    This decision could not have been an easy decision; but I believe it was the right one.

    Many local governments and states are finding themselves in a position where the levels of spending can no longer be sustained. In the boom years, we spent, spent and spent. Just look at the union pensions and how they are affecting local governments. That’s what the majority of the $26 billion bail out is for. Not for teachers and firefighters, but for the unions and to cities that are sanctuary cities. $36 million to the NEA and $14 million to AFT unions!

    I feel for the county workers as this will impact them and their families. However, I think things are going to get worse before they get better so I would look for more cuts.

    By the way, just as an inquisitive question, what did folks do before health care was offered as an employment benefit??

  16. Dorothea says:

    Kmedley wants to know what folks did before employee health care. When was that? In the days when you could trade a chicken for a doctor’s house call? I have a relative that was born in 1955. The total cost for the hospital stay of five days was $55. His parents had no health insurance, so they had to pay out of pocket. In 1960 the total cost of doctor’s care for all prenatal visits and delivery was around $350. In 1970 general practitioners charged $5-10 a visit in office.

    Don’t blame the unions, it’s far more complicated than that. Look harder at the insurance and pharmaceutical industry and the vast profits they make. You can buy drugs in Costa Rica for a pittance of what it costs for the same drugs in the United States.

  17. kmedley says:

    Dorothea says: Don’t blame the unions, it’s far more complicated than that. Look harder at the insurance and pharmaceutical industry and the vast profits they make. You can buy drugs in Costa Rica for a pittance of what it costs for the same drugs in the United States

    You are correct. It is far more complicated than the unions; yet we do not here solutions from them. Rather, we here more demands such as covering Viagra rather than making sure more teachers don’t lose their job. As far as the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, they have been inundated with more and more government regulation. Do you know why the flu vaccine is such a rare commodity? Look no further than one of the few remnants of Hillarycare that survived. This legislation caused the majority of the vaccine manufacturers to leave the US.

    It’s the regulation and the fear of malpractice lawsuits that have caused all connected with the health industry to raise rates. Maybe the answer is for government to get out of the way and limit frivilous lawsuits.

  18. kmedley says:

    It is far more complicated than the unions; yet we do not hear solutions from them. Rather, we hear more demands such as covering Viagra rather than making sure more teachers don’t lose their job.

    Spelling correction.

  19. tulip says:

    DAWG—–I don’t understand your comment about Peterson and Revels.

  20. Dorothea says:

    Kmedley, there is a surplus of the flu vaccine, but that’s really not the issue. I don’t know why Viagra is covered and wasn’t aware that it was a demand of the unions. If anything, I would think that it was the demands of the company that produces Viagra and the horny old men that run the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

    My humble opinion is that most of the problem is that many Americans have become selfish and most corporations have become greedy. Everything is what’s in it for me. The rich blame the middle class (what’s left of it) and the middle class blames the working poor and the working poor blames the destitute. The old blame the young and the young blame the old. Those who have Medicare, a very well run program, are afraid that they will lose a few dollars in benefits if their kids or grandkids are allowed to partake in this successful program. It is also the ignorance of people who accept the advertising, fear mongering soundbites of the corporations and special interest groups that instigate and profit from this blame game.

    Why do you think that only the workers (the unions) should be coming up with solutions?

  21. H. Peter Stolz says:

    I look at the premiums and deductible schedules for the county workers in 2011 and I know there will be many in the private sector who woud gladly have the plans offerred the county employees. Look at the premium people on medicare pay – it doesn’t include a drug plan. Go ahead! Compare! Then tell me how bad the county plan is. Yes its not like in our grandmothers’ day, but then neither is the salary.

  22. H. Peter Stolz says:

    I did want to ask what that comment from Hanns “this was passed and it was probably the right thing to do, but my own personal feelings on it, I’m just overly sympathetic. Maybe I’ve been doing this too long” means in English rather than political doublespeak. But the part I can figure out I do agree with you George, you have been a commissioner way too long.

  23. Nancy N. says:

    I am a small business owner paying $1700/mo to insure my family of 3 via a COBRA for the adults and a private policy for the child because it is the only coverage we can get (in the case of the adults with pre-existing conditions) and the most affordable (in the case of the child). $326/mo to insure a whole family? Where do I sign up? Sorry, county employees…but you are riding a health care gravy train using my tax dollars and get no sympathy from me. Try living in the real (non-government employee) world and getting insurance at those prices.

  24. kmedley says:

    Dorothea says: Why do you think that only the workers (the unions) should be coming up with solutions?

    Look at the budget shortfalls the majority of cities across this country are faced with and then look to see how many have union pensions, unfunded mandates, to fulfill.

    It was the union bosses, not the workers, that pressed and pressed for these benefits that are now unsustainable expenses; and yet, they will not compromise to save any jobs. Everyone throughout the country is tightening their belts and making sacrifices, but not the unions. Governor Christy of NJ is taking them head on and he’s about the only one with the cajones to do so.

    The viagra is but one example of a teachers’ union I believe in Wisconsin. Rather than give up the Viagra, they are demanding that it be a covered medicine with their health care plan. By foregoing this demand, many jobs could be saved.

    There must be a rekindling of personal responsibility and the idea you take care of yourself and your family and relying upon others for unsustainable benefits and expenditures is detrimental to the family and ultimately the community as a whole.

  25. Dorothea says:

    Kmedley, I agree that pensions and healthcare costs are choking the financial life out of the states. However they should never be unfunded to begin with. I have pension and healthcare funds invested in another state. That money stays right where it is, in their respective funds.

    But if we are playing the blame game, like your blaming Hilary Clinton, you need to also blame George W. Bush for his mishandling of the economy that proved so disasterous for the investments made by the pension fund administrators. Blame those in the Federal government that put our Social Security money into the general fund and then cried, “social security is running out of money.” Blame the financially unsustainable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan costing taxpayers trillions of dollars. There’s plenty of blame to go around, not just unions. It requires that all (including the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and government) come together to find solutions and compromises in this time of financial crisis

    Back to the Viagra and those impotent Wisconsin teachers, so many of whom need Viagra that we could save many jobs. It was the unions and other citizen’s groups that got mammogram and prostate screening included in our insurance coverage.

  26. AnotherCountyEmployee says:

    I have read all the comments about this article and now feel compelled to comment myself. County employees are facing the same hardships that everyone else is. We don’t make huge salaries. We have good benefits, true, but we also have single income families, multiple medical issues, etc. All we were hoping for is an alternative to placing more hardship on top of what we already shoulder. We don’t want more money, or better benefits. We don’t want the taxpayers to suffer more just so that we can live high on the hog. We just don’t want to lose more than we already have. We like, you, haven’t had raises in a few years. Our insurance went up 50% last year and now 70% this year. We have had layoffs and furloughs. Yes, lots of other people are in worse shape. We are very lucky to have what we do. BUT, instead of thinking ” you have it good, quit whining”, place yourself in our shoes and ask what you would do. My bet is that you would also not want to lose 120 dollars a month.

  27. kmedley says:

    Dorothea – I have yet to see any unions step forward and offer to have any of their pensions either cut or frozen during these economic times. $36 million to the NEA and $14 million to AFT teachers’ unions hardly speaks to fiscal responsibility.

    I do blame GW Bush and the Republicans that spent like drunken sailors and/or progressives. Progressives have infected both parties and they need to be voted out. The Social Security funds were never in a lock box under any administration. The problem with social security is the ration of those working versus those that are coming into their social security years. There are not enough workers today to sustain that mandate.

    You and I disagree with the wars. Had we not gone, our loss would have been greater, both in American lives and in American freedom. I do agree; however, we did not go and fight to destroy as we should have. Too much political correctness. If we as a nation are going to send young men and women into harm’s way, then by God go to win. Churchill must be shaking his head in disbelief.

    Mammograms and prostate screenings save lives and if the unions are responsible for this, I thank them. Fighting for Viagra to be paid for under health insurance is ridiculous.

  28. Nancy N. says:

    AnotherCountyEmployee, you say that you are facing the same hardships that everyone else is but the whole point of this discussion is that YOU ARE SIMPLY NOT.

    Your benefits have gotten incredibly far out of line with what is happening with benefits in the private sector, and you just don’t get that. I pay five times what you do for a plan that is (based on the benefits shown above) only half as good. And by private sector standards, my plan is actually pretty good!

    You don’t get that government employees are some of the elite privileged few left in this society who actually have access to decent affordable healthcare plans.

    You try to complain about single income families, medical problems, layoffs and furloughs….well the rest of us have those issues too…and don’t have luxury level health plans being handed to us at bargain basement prices.

    You say that you don’t want others to suffer so you can live high on the hog, but I’m suffering because my property taxes went up this year (I was one of the 10% that did) and you ARE living high on the hog. You’ve just been doing it so long and are so out of touch with the rest of us you don’t realize what it is like for the rest of us with our health insurance.

    All that extra $120 you are going to get charged does is bring you a tiny bit closer to living in the real world with the rest of us. As a taxpayer, I’m tired of funding your fantasy world while my family can’t pay its own medical bills even with insurance because our copays and premiums are so high.

    No one wants to give up a cozy deal – I understand that – but your benefits are a relic of the way things worked in the past and it’s time to join the rest of us in the present.

  29. County Worker says:

    It must be so easy to believe that you are the only one experiencing financial problems. Forgive me if I have a job and you don’t. I am tired of comparisons to the private sector and how much they pay for health insurance. All county employees are already in the real world. Our property values have crashed liked everyone’s has. We have had to make cuts in our budgets. We still have bills and taxes, believe it or not, that are on the rise like everyone else. Why it is so hard to understand that we are not paid like CEO’s and we incur the same problems financially as everyone else is beyond me. If it is believed we are paid a kings ransom why hasn’t a salary comparison been done against local counties and cities.

  30. Nancy N. says:

    I certainly don’t believe that I am the only one experiencing financial issues (and FYI I have a job – note the point where I said I’m a small business owner).

    Why are you tired of comparisons to the private sector? Are government employees special in some way that their salaries and benefits shouldn’t be compared to people doing the same jobs in the private sector?

    You ask for a comparison? How about reading the article – the part where it says your health insurance pay-in is still going to be less than the school district employees or county employees in Volusia & St John’s?

    Bottom line: Part of my job involves press and public relations. I can tell you – in the area of healthcare problems, you have the equivalent of a papercut with this increase. It hurts to you, sure, but most private sector employees are experiencing arterial bleeding with their healthcare costs – or having their plans eliminated altogether. Complaining about how much your papercut hurts to people who are bleeding to death…is NEVER going to go your way from a PR standpoint. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt for you. It just means that you can’t win the relative comparison…and trying to insist that you can just makes you look bad. And when the people you are looking bad in front of are the taxpayers and voters who directly or indirectly control the budget that pays for your benefits…well, sometimes the best thing is to know when there is nothing to be gained by complaining, and something to potentially lose down the road through the creation of bad will.

  31. joy says:

    To the county empolyees.

    Your benefits have gotten incredibly far out of line with what is happening with benefits in the private sector, and you just don’t get that. You don’t get that government employees are some of the elite privileged few left in this society who actually have access to decent affordable healthcare plans.

    You try to complain about single income families, medical problems, layoffs and furloughs….well the rest of us have those issues too…and don’t have luxury level health plans being handed to us at bargain basement prices.

    All that extra $120 you are going to get charged does is bring you a tiny bit closer to living in the real world with the rest of us. As a taxpayer, I’m tired of funding your fantasy world while my family can’t pay its own medical bills even with insurance because our copays and premiums are so high.

    No one wants to give up a cozy deal – I get that – but your benefits are old school of the way things worked in the past and it’s time to join the rest of us in the present. Salaries of the public sector for like jobs are higher than in the private sector – also FC has only been raising the millage rate!!!!!

  32. Kevin says:

    Over It and County Worker:

    You sound as though you fancy yourselves as being irreplaceable or having skills that are in limited supply. I have news for you, if they fired you both, probably 100+ better qualified candidates would submit applications to fill your shoes so hush-hush on the health benefits being one of the crucial items to attract and retain qualified employees that are also not slugs as many often become in government positions.

    And trust me when I say the majority of us in this forum don’t hate the sinner but we do hate the sin. That sin being unduly compensated government employee packages.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry but I wish we could get this type of insurance. We are right in line with what they make and we pay a whole lot more that they do. Sign me up for their insurance!

  34. Anita says:

    “By the way, just as an inquisitive question, what did folks do before health care was offered as an employment benefit??”

    Do you mean when doctors made house calls and accepted a dozen eggs as payment?

  35. Anonymous says:

    jane says:
    August 9, 2010 at 8:08 pm
    “To all the county staff who are complaining – guess you are not part of the 9.5% unemployed”

    Good assumption. What do you know of the husbands or wives of these employees? Many are one income households due to spouses being laid off etc…

  36. some guy says:

    On the comparisons of Government worker to pritate sector worker i belive that the studys are done on FED/emp not our county ones. Yes we do have overpaid local Gov/emps but I belive that the County workers asking not to have a 70% raise in the cost of INS. I would also put out that most of the county workers asking for this make 10-14 an hr they are not FAT CAT gov/emps.

  37. starfyre says:

    just fire half of em

    if they arent qualified they dont deserve to work

    just like my hubbie who couldnt handle a brighthouse job-so they canned him

    but we dont see it that way-brighthouse isnt good enough to pay us!!

  38. PC residence says:

    WOW! Look what hard economic times does to people. Reading over all the above comments kind of make me sick to think that people could be happy to see others suffer on hard times. People are glad that gov’t employee’s will have to cut even more of their living necessities (which for many are already at bare minimum.) Did you even think about what kind of jobs these govt employees do. Police, Firemen, Paramedics, Road construction; these are dangerous jobs.

    Reply to ALL Negative post: When was the last time you were severly injured or even killed doing your job? Many of these gov’t employee you guys are angry run these risk everytime they go to work. Random Stat: OVER 100 Firemen/Paramedic DIE every single year doing their job. Not to mention the 100’s maybe 1000’s that die because of diseases/injuries suffered. The possibility that these gov’t employee’s will truely need to use their health insurance is greatly increased not to mention the pay cut they’ll get if/when injured on the job (workers comp: 66 2/3%)

    Dually trained firefighter/paramedic make approx. $12.80/hr That’s some high luxury pay for the men/women that save the lives of “bleeding” tax payers. Your right though what another $120/month increase in health insurance

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