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Legislators continue misguided campaign against state employee health care

Jack WalkerMembers of the General Assembly like to assert that they had no choice but to pass State Health Plan legislation earlier in the session. It was necessary to save the plan. That much is true. What is absolutely untrue, however, is that legislators had to pass the specific bill that they passed.

In fact, as we have noted on many occasions, the harmful “wellness” provisions in the State Health Plan bill will cost money and provide no proven savings. Again, these will cost money and do irreparable harm to state employees and their families.

As Adam Searing pointed out recently, state employees are less expensive to insure than the average commercially insured employee in the South. In other words, state employees are not more unhealthy than other workers.

But the legislation was passed and signed and now legislators are considering how to punish those sneaky state employees who falsely claim they are smoke-free. Jack Walker, executive director of the State Health Plan, wants to randomly subject all state employees to saliva tests, privacy be damned.

If Walker finds that a state employee has lied on their smoking disclosure form, much as Walker lied when he claimed to have an accredited PhD and a dissertation published by the University of Michigan, then the state employee will be sent to a health plan with higher out of pocket expenses. But that’s not all. Walker also wants authority to increase the deductibles of these ne’er-do-wells and possibly boot them from the State Health Plan altogether for one year.

So now legislators could entirely strip state employees of insurance coverage because of these ridiculous wellness provisions. The State Health Plan is out of control. It needs a new administrator. And it needs to be run by an independent board.

4 Comments


  1. John

    June 19, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Amen you are right. Don’t forget that you can drink all the alcohol you want so long as you don’t smoke or are overweight. Talk about discrimination.

  2. ramona

    June 19, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    maybe they will allow us to go on the NC Health Choice that has better benefits than our current insurance

  3. Adam Linker

    June 19, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    And I thought the state had better benefits than SAS.

  4. Kyle

    June 22, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    “In other words, state employees are not more unhealthy than other workers”.

    Sorry but that is not what the figures show. What the figures show is that the General Assembly appropriate less money for the State Health Plan, which result in a $300 million deficit.

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