Ga. workers' medical fund reportedly running short

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ATLANTA — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the fund that pays health insurance claims for state workers is running short of money.

Lisa Marie Shekell, spokeswoman for the state Department of Community Health, says the state Health Benefit Plan's surplus of more than $472 million has been sharply reduced by budget cuts and work force reductions.

The department's interim chief financial officer, Scott Frederking, says the fund could be broke by next spring unless action is taken.

State officials plan to raise the health insurance premiums of workers and retirees by about 10 percent in January.

The Legislature recently approved a $33 million shift in state money to the fund, and the state health agency is applying for a $100 million federal grant.

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Fiat_Lux
20581
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Fiat_Lux 07/19/10 - 10:35 am
0
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Won't that be wonderful,

Won't that be wonderful, especially for the retirees who already are getting nailed. Oh, well. At least that have something more than Medicare, not that it will mean much after ObummerCare takes effect.

baronvonreich
1
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baronvonreich 07/19/10 - 12:33 pm
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These state workers and

These state workers and retirees have been receiveing highly subsidized benefits for decades that are on an unsustainable level. People are gonna have to start paying their own way. The other people's money is beginning to run out.

disssman
6
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disssman 07/19/10 - 01:00 pm
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What segment of the state

What segment of the state workforce does this really apply to? And how much is considered overhead for the activity that actually pays claims. Without knowing I would bet we have a middleman, somewhere between the atate and the provider, that is raking in money. But without a clear cut budget as to what every dollar is spent for and who gets it, we will continue to be in the dark until universal healthcare kicks in. P.S. I don't mean a system that reports x thousands to abc corp. I mean a system that reports X thousands to abc corp for specific reasons such as medical claims, truck tires, hotels rooms etc.

dichotomy
48223
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dichotomy 07/19/10 - 01:52 pm
0
0
All of our pension funds and

All of our pension funds and retiree health insurance funds are just like our water/sewer mains, bridges, and dams. If you uncover them from the dirt or take a good look beneath them they are all rotten, rusting, and crumbling. Years of underfunding and neglect will always show up at the worst possible time. This is what happens when you elect people who have that "we will give them this now and let the next adminstration worry about paying for it later down the road" deficit spending attitude. The problem is, we have been giving lots of people lots of benefits but nobody has been paying for any of it. And we now have reached the point where we have given so many people so many benefits, and ignored our infrastructure maintenance and replacement for so long that we cannot pay for it. We need a balanced budget amendment at the local, state, and federal level. If the public saw the true amount of taxes they owe to fund all of the benefits, giveaways, and needed infrastruture maintenance projects we would all probably have heart attacks.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 07/19/10 - 02:40 pm
0
0
Raise the union dues. That

Raise the union dues. That should cover the shortfall. I'll bet the taxpayer winds up shouldering the entire shortage. Ain't socialism grand .... for the government employee?

Sweet son
15088
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Sweet son 07/19/10 - 02:44 pm
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baronvonreich, sounds like

baronvonreich, sounds like sour grapes to me. You chose not to work for the government like the rest of us who were always underpaid. I am of course not talking about the super high folks at MCG. The rest of us just made a living and worked our time out to enjoy the benefits that were promised to us. We underlings did not have anything to do with the way that higher ups decided to spend our health care money or how they managed our retirement funds. Hope this does not make you mad.

chascush
0
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chascush 07/19/10 - 04:17 pm
0
0
disssman, ‘But without a

disssman, ‘But without a clear cut budget as to what every dollar is spent for and who gets it, we will continue to be in the dark until universal healthcare kicks in’ Let me get this straight, a small diversion of govamint can’t get things right but the govamint will straighten things out when it grows at less 100 times larger. If you believe that disssman I have some ocean front property in KS for sell. I would have said AZ but you wouldn’t want too go to that racist state. Keep on with Obama kool-aid.

Riverman1
124243
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Riverman1 07/19/10 - 05:04 pm
0
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I once saw the projections

I once saw the projections for about 20 years out and the health care costs for state government employees and the growing number of retirees will be the equivalent of the entire state budget. That won't work.

The answer from politicians who refuse to take hard measures has always been future economic growth will take care of all the costs. I'll bet my bottom dollar our economy won't take care of the shortfall in the decades to come. Something has to be done.

pdixiedog
53
Points
pdixiedog 07/19/10 - 08:34 pm
0
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Raise WHAT Union dues? Most

Raise WHAT Union dues? Most Ga. State Employees do not belong to a union! This is not California. Get your facts straight.

Most Ga. State Employees have not received a pay raise in about 3 years and have been furloughed multiple times in the past 18 months. Furlough equals loss of pay.

At least the retireees get a1.5% Cost-Of-Living Raise every 6 months. They are doing better that those that are still working.

Nativeson1
2
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Nativeson1 07/19/10 - 08:41 pm
0
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pdixiedog, you are absolutely

pdixiedog, you are absolutely right, but when you are talking to somebody like Cliff the fact that you are right and know what you are speaking about doesn't matter!!! The only response you will get is something about being a democrat, liberal, or socialism (not that any of that describes you, it doesn't matter).....

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