I have to take issue with Greg Helding with such regularity that I am concerned that he might think its personal. It isn't personal Greg. It is all about policy. The following quote is from the Racine Post article on a local health care forum. Read it all here
Alderman Greg Helding (above) discussed the potential impact of health care reform on the local level. Helding estimated 20 percent of the city's budget pays for employees' health care. Switching to a single-payer system that charges an 8 percent payroll tax would save the city millions of dollars it could use for additional street maintenance and city services, like police.
This year alone the city is expecting an 11 percent increase in its health care costs, Helding said. Over time health care costs could grow to 10 times the amount of the city's property tax levy, a number that is simply unsustainable, he said.
"(Health care) costs us a lot of money and it's increasing rapidly," Helding said.
Greg has it partly right. We are spending a ton on medical care for city employees. My guess is the reason for that is that virtually everything is covered ( viagra etc...), there is little co-pay or employee contribution towards premiums etc... Thus we have created incentives for employees to overuse the health care system since others are paying the bill. Of course this is a recipe for the financial disaster that is looming in Racine and no doubt elsewhere. But Greg Helding thinks that nationalizing the idea that is bankrupting Racine would be a good idea.
Not a good idea. Our local politicians over the years have offered benifits to municipal employees that are now obviously unsustainable. Faced with this looming disaster that they created, they now want to foist the bill on to federal government/taxpayers. The problem of course is that every local or state government entity that has been irresponsible will be doing the same. Not sure how any savings will miraculously appear out of such a maneuver.