Thursday, April 28, 2011

Municipal Health Insurance Reform Moves Forward

Chamber-supported plan approved by the House

As a member of the Mass Reform First coalition, the Chamber is working with other business and civic groups for municipal health insurance reform. Currently private employers are able to redesign employee benefit packages to help mitigate health care costs, while municipalities cannot due to collective bargaining restrictions. As a result, those costs are wreaking havoc with municipal budgets – increasing pressure to raise property taxes and cut vital services such as education and public safety. The situation is exacerbated by significant cuts in local aid for the 4th consecutive year. Meaningful municipal health insurance reform is needed.

The plan just passed by the House, in its budget bill, provides strong reforms. It ensures that municipal employees will continue to receive excellent health care, and retain more bargaining power than state employees. In the weeks ahead, the Mass Reform First coalition will work with leaders in the Senate, the House and the Patrick Administration for final enactment of municipal health insurance reform.

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