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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Leave PEIA alone

PEIA is the acronym for the West Virginia state employees health plan. It covers about 200,000 people (including retirees and dependents) at a cost of $950 million a year, according to WCHS-TV.

Five grand per person sounds about right for a good health plan.

The trouble comes every few years when the politicians buy into some hare-brained scheme to save money. This never works. All it does is alienate employees, which is the opposite of why an employer offers fringe benefits.

Just pay the bills. This is a battle conservatives cannot win. They are our employees, and we should treat them fairly. Learn from Trump. Fight the battles you will win.

PEIA has premiums, co-payments, and deductibles just like everyone else.

You know what doesn't have premiums, co-payments, and deductibles and costs four times as much?

Medicaid.

In 2016, total Medicaid spending was $3.7 billion in West Virginia.

You don't hear much about saving money on Medicaid, because the hospitals have good lobbyists. For all their bellyaching about losing money on Medicaid, they sure battle any attempt to rein Medicaid in.

In the 1980s, the hospitals willingly paid a provider's tax to keep the Medicaid money flowing.

The state has some good employees. The cheap health care takes pressure off demands for pay raises. (Raising taxes increases pressure for higher pay, as Republicans discovered the hard way this year.)

Christians hate the sin but love the sinner.

Conservatives should do that with their politics: Hate the government but love the worker. Come to think of it, Jesus befriended a tax collector or two.

At any rate, leave PEIA as is. Freeze Medicaid. Quit falling for that every $1 in, West Virginia gets $3 from Washington. That's nice, but we don't have the $1.

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1 comment:

  1. The pols talk about cutting Social Security and Medicare, that we have actually paid into, but not Welfare and Medicaid. - GOC

    ReplyDelete