The piece, authored by Samuel Tyler of the Boston Municipal Research Beureau, argues that the present system of funding municipal health insurance is unsustainable because of the upward pressure it places on local real estate taxes.
By way of example, he cites the city of Boston, which has seen expeses for health insurance increase 92 percent over the past six years.
During the same period, Mr. Tyler states that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has seen its insurance costs escalate “only” 61 percent. He cites the Commonwealth’s participation in the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) as the primary reason that the state saw a less dramatic increase in the cost of health insurance. The idea being that the GIC grants the commonwealth greater flexibility in managing plan design and associated costs outside of contract negotiations, allowing for cost savings.
Mr. Tyler supports the passage of a bill that would allow for municipalities to join the GIC, the details of which are found in his article.
Now, I didn’t go to school for municipal finance, and I’m not a health care expert or a municipal employee. Is there anyone on these boards that could educate me as to why this would be a bad idea? It seems pretty reasonable to me.
Is Mr. Tyler comparnig apples and oranges when comparing Boston’s health costs to the Commonwealth? Or is it fair to say that the GIC would really save a given municipality 33% of its costs in health care?
Is this an option worth exploring?