Representatives of the town unions (the Public Employees Committee known as the PEC) and the Town will soon begin renegotiating our healthcare agreement, which expires on June 30, 2016. Early in the new year, the GIC (the state agency that regulates and administers our health insurance) will announce new guidelines and premiums. The Public Employees Committe (PEC) will hold the line for the 83/17 split (see article above) that was negotiated by the PEC and is the envy of many employees around the state.
For the most part we pay lower premiums with the GIC, but all people are being made to pay greater copays and deductibles. This is a nationwide problem that is being widely debated. Our friends at Healthcare for All are working to pass a Massachusetts bill, “an Act to keep people healthy by removing barriers to cost-effective care” (S.606 and H.984) which would end copays for people with chronic conditions. The bill would establish a state panel of experts to recommend high-value (meaning they are highly effective and prevent much more costly complications) and cost-effective services, treatments, and prescription drugs.
Meanwhile, our statewide union is on record as supporting Medicare for All, the single payer system similar to the health care approach in most economies like ours. It is lately being championed by Bernie Sanders.
— Sheila Leach, PEC Rep