Preschool Panacea?October 21, 2009
What’s Up With Rev. Jackson’s Endorsement of Corzine?October 22, 2009
New Jersey School Boards Association has released a memo describing a pro-NJEA bias on the School Employees Health Benefits Commission, which regulates the most widely-used health insurance plan for N.J.’s public school districts: Governor Corzine has declined to appoint a Chairman, so the majority of members are NJEA members. Therefore, a pattern has emerged with a series of votes that favor NJEA over the advice of Aon Corporation, the program’s risk-management consulting firm. From the memo:
The chairmanship became vacant when Jane Oates left to work for the Obama administration in April. In addition, the commission’s public representative, an executive with a utility firm, has missed several key votes. Because of the vacancy and the absences, important decisions have been made with only three “non-union” members present: NJSBA’s [Cynthia J.] Jahn, and the representatives of the Departments of Treasury and Banking & Insurance. Consequently, key votes have come down on the unions’ side by 4-3 or 3-4 margins.
Here’s an example: on September 23d the SEHBC voted 4-3 to eliminate the possibility of the program to increase co-payments for retiree prescription plan, instead of the previous practice of linking co-pays to prescription drug prices. The State Division of Pensions and Benefits has estimated that this new formula will, according to NJSBA, “increase the program’s costs by $1.5 million in the first year, with that amount doubling each year thereafter. In year four, the provision would cost the plan an additional $13 million dollars.”
The memo details a series of pending votes that will raise costs for school districts and taxpayers without adequate non-union representation. Sounds like the fix is in.