April 29, 2008

Cuts for Thee but not for Me

Marc Comtois

Sure, it may be an easy mark, but just because they make it easy, doesn't mean it shouldn't be noted:

During their marathon House budget-cutting debate last Friday, lawmakers talked again and again about the need to “share the burden” and “share the pain.”

But they decided to spare themselves from making any contribution to their own 100-percent state-paid health insurance.

For several days last week, House leaders talked among themselves about possibly proposing an amendment to the big midyear budget-cutting bill that cleared the House on Friday. It would have required all 38 senators and 75 House members who elect to take the benefit to do what some are already doing voluntarily — that is, pay 10 percent of the cost.

But they backed off in response to reported opposition from Senate Democrats during a rare — and unannounced — closed-door caucus at the State House Thursday night.

Way to "share the pain." Oh, sure, they might "revisit" it next time around. And it's true that some are forking over a voluntary 10% co-share. But then you have the others who take the $2,000 and change buyout (the ProJo names names). How noble.....Well, here's an idea, how about not taking it at all? According to the ProJo, that'd save around $1.4 million.

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I think I have figured out a new campaign.

"For every state legislator that does not have an opponent in the upcoming elections I shall publicly kill a puppy."

Posted by: Greg at April 29, 2008 9:50 AM

all righty then...

I'd love to know if the Gov is taking a buy-back and whether his high-salaried staff is participating in any kind of co-sharing of costs.

Because, without leadership from administration, the legislature, in those closed-door sessions is likely to be emboldened by the fact that anything thrown at them will stick to the Governor too.

I'd also like to know, what the 2010 Governor wanna-bees contribute to their health insurance or if they are accepting a buy-back.

We need leaders who are willing to say that they won't ask anyone to pay any more than they are willing to pay themselves.

Posted by: Ace at April 29, 2008 10:29 AM

You ask a fair question, although the Governor's staff perform their particular jobs on a full-time basis, unlike legislators who receive fully subsidized healthcare for what is essentially a part-time, half year job. They are more comparable to other state workers than to state legislators. Either way, both groups should co-share costs.

It should be noted that the vast majority of legislators who have voluntarily paid some of their healthcare costs are Republicans.

Posted by: Anthony at April 29, 2008 1:15 PM

Most of our state legislators are greedy pigs with the same philosophy as Perle,Wolfowitz,& co.-"let's you and him fight"

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 29, 2008 1:26 PM

My favorite in this category are the legislators who take the $2,000 health insurance buyout less 10%.

Posted by: Monique at April 29, 2008 10:49 PM
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