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Borough health care benefits will affect tax burden

Posted: May 11, 2012 - 9:13am

Mayor Mike Navarre believes Borough employees are entitled to an increase to $20,000 per year for health care premiums paid by local taxpayers. The Mayor recently introduced KPB Ordinance 2011-19-82, which is set for a single public hearing on May 15. If approved by our Borough Assembly, everybody will pay additional taxes to support this increase in employee benefits, in order to balance the FY 2013 Borough budget.

I think the Assembly needs to survey private sector health care premiums before making this important decision. If employees at Radio Shack, BP, NBA, Safeway and Arby's have similar employer paid benefits, then it's certainly appropriate for government workers too. After all, it is the dedicated, hard working employees from private sector businesses who pay the wages and benefits for Borough employees. It is only right that compensation packages be similar.

Contact the Mayor and Assembly to share your feelings. Our representative government needs to hear from the taxpayers, who must shoulder these significant increases. They have already heard from Borough employees and their unions. During the 2011 Mayor's campaign Terry Bookey placed a YouTube ad on the Kenai Peninsula Employees Association web site stating: "Vote YOUR paycheck, Vote Mike Navarre!" It's clear that the union's position is fully understood by our Mayor, who is proposing this increase.

Now it is your turn to speak out. Contact information for your Mayor and Assembly can be found at: http://www.borough.kenai.ak.us. You can speak up now or you can prepare to write a bigger tax check in July and forever more.

The choice is yours.

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radiokenai
562
Points
radiokenai 05/12/12 - 06:33 am
1
0
Let me see....
Unpublished

Entitlements...Democrats...Taxes....Navarre....

Do you see the correlation there people?

Good, then remember that STING when you are behind the striped curtain and you see obama as a choice (the worst choice ever).

wings
44
Points
wings 05/12/12 - 09:02 am
1
3
Mr. Navarre

I realize you are new at this job, but don't you think you should take care of the people who voted for you before you take care of yourself? Most of your tax based community have no health insurance at all, and you want to make sure you and your borough employees get your healthcare first, off the back of the taxpayers? This is not a nice thing to do to the rest of us ... we're not supposed to get sick, right? WE just keep working to pay our taxes, while you get to decide how to tax our souls to death? Don't any of you realize that when WE get sick "out here," it affects your paychecks "in there?" Oh, I get it, you'll just find another way to "fee" the rest of the people to make up taxes for those who get sick, right. Wow, you got it all covered. Great job you got. How much does IT pay?

radiokenai
562
Points
radiokenai 05/12/12 - 01:13 pm
1
0
Wings...
Unpublished

Hey, I didn't vote for the Liberal...I hope all of the Navarre voters out there see the light. This thing is not new, obama is up to the same plan right now...as we speak.

Suss
3290
Points
Suss 05/12/12 - 06:50 pm
0
0
wings

Welcome to the Peninsula. So, you think most people do not have health insurance and that the mayor is new to the job? Thanks for letting everyone know what you do not know. Wow, just, Wow.

jlmh
351
Points
jlmh 05/13/12 - 02:10 am
0
0
Private Sector Rates

According to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey published last year by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (under the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services), typical health care premiums for Alaskans in the private sector are:

$4,571 for a single individual, with employees contributing $1,021 and their employers contributing $3,918;

$9,515 for an individual and spouse, with employees contributing $2,555 and their employers contributing $6,959;

$12,409 for family coverage, with employees contributing $3,758 and their employers contributing $8,651.

Most recent data is for 2010.

wings
44
Points
wings 05/13/12 - 04:34 am
0
0
suss

Sorry I rubbed you wrong. Maybe I missed the election last Fall, but Mike just took the job last November, right? I do understand he's been in politics all his life (from his dad), and, I didn't say, I don't like a good Catholic man. So WOW, to you, who REALLY doesn't know how many people have insurance or not. You may be judging the records from those who can afford to go to the doctor in the first place, but there's a lot of people on the Kenai who are even without jobs. Did you know that? How are they supposed to pay for health insurance? Plus, there are a lot of jobs that do not pay health insurance AT ALL. Do you work for the Borough too? Perhaps thats why you don't know about people WITHOUT health insurance.

Suss
3290
Points
Suss 05/13/12 - 11:31 am
0
0
wings

Fact check winger, Mike might have been a mayor before. Uninsured, those without health benefits range from 15.5% to 19.8% of the Alaskan population for the past 13-year study. Generally they are the working stiffs, along with the under and <10% unemployed. Those without means are the Medicaid group. Private insurance is the majority, along with Denali Kid Care. As military widow I would hope Tri-Care kicks in for you. Health care is dear to me, all of us deserve the best health care, and it should be affordable for all. Granted not all policies are equal, my deductibles and co-pays are manageable but Medicaid would look pretty good if I were in need.

wings
44
Points
wings 05/13/12 - 12:22 pm
0
1
And so he was, dear ...

Suss, we are not enemies. I'm trying to understand why Mayor Mike Navarre believes Borough employees are entitled to an increase to $20,000 per year for health care premiums paid by local taxpayers. Aren't you curious? I don't care if he's been mayor all his life, borough workers are no more privileged to health care than the ones who pay the taxes.

MIlitary widows? Now that's a real hard one for me, another whole issue, and not the present subject.

wings
44
Points
wings 05/13/12 - 12:27 pm
0
0
Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 05/13/12 - 08:10 pm
0
3
Navarre has been a mayor

Navarre has been a mayor before, BUT, he has never been a Mayor Before, plain & simple, more like a lobbyist for self.
What would FRED do is in order here again compared too & with this present Chosen One for Slooooowdotna at the stern making decisions. Why not just go with the status quo like he did the budget??
I pay $12,000 a year for partial medical, no vision, no dental, no nothing & $700 each copay before any insurance money is paid, which is totally crazy, so i understand the rising costs of medical insurance. Please make no mistake about it though the high costs for insurances are due to medical providers charging above & beyond for ALL services to those that are insured to try & recoup some losses from all that don't have insurance.
This Game is almost over for everyone that is in need of medical insurance or provides insurance leading to a State insurance/Socialized medician with no one being treated or treated in a timely manner & if ya need some tramatic health care you can forget it.
Obamanation of Desolations insurance is ment to destroy not help anyone, just as every thing he does is ment to do so hang on & get ready troubles coming for all of us insured or not.

Isaiah 1:23

Kenai
65
Points
Kenai 05/14/12 - 07:39 am
3
0
Lies and Propaganda

Clearly, some still continue to spread the same lies and rumors that were inappropriately and carelessly thrown about during last October's election. Mike McBride continues to try and win people to his point of view, not through reason and persuasion, but fear.

McBride states: "If approved by our Borough Assembly, everybody will pay additional taxes to support this increase in employee benefits, in order to balance the FY 2013 Borough budget."

I have read the ordinance, the supporting memo, and have talked to the Mayor. Nowhere has there been any mention of increasing taxes. Healthcare, like many other markets, is a volatile market and difficult to budget for. Just as you don't know when you're going to have a record-breaking snowfall, you don't know what kind of unexpected medical situations will arise during a year. This ordinance is simply adjusting the difference between the amount budgeted for healthcare with an updated estimation of the costs.

Furthermore, you use the Kenai Borough Employees Association as a red herring as well. The portion of healthcare costs paid by Borough employees in the bargaining unit was negotiated more than two years ago, before Navarre was Mayor. Do you suggest this administration begin to stop honoring other contracts too, or just this one? The Union aside, these healthcare figures are for the non-Union employees and the Assembly as well. It's obvious you're trying to tap into non-Union sentiment to add fuel to your argument.

Until McBride can make an argument without using, fear, confusion, and lies, he really isn't worth listening to.

witchwitch
51
Points
witchwitch 05/14/12 - 10:48 pm
0
2
Fear, confusion and lies, asserted by Kenai ???

Kenai ???

Mr. McBride's comments appear to be both direct and factual. Please clarify SPECIFICALLY what represents the LIES.

I'd also like to know why this would even be an issue if this increase was included in the contract. Logically, if it was this would not even be an issue.

I actually saw the KPEA YouTube ad on the union website where Terry Bookey clear stated: "Vote YOUR paycheck, Vote Mike Navarre!" I believe that it was pulled by the union after it was reported to APOC. I believe it was in violation of Alaska law because it was an illegal campaign communication. This is a fact, as I understand it.

The question for me is whether this increase is justified and appropriate. I would like to know whether other people receive such benefits. I have been a union member in two different unions and have never received such a large employer provided medical contribution for health care benefits. Perhaps the Borough needs to shop for a better rate or plan.

If someone could document other employers that furnish similar benefits that would be relevant to me. I will try to attend the Borough Assembly meeting and hope that they can provide some solid facts.

Increases in Borough liability do logically increase taxes. Such benefits are paid through property taxes. Borough sales taxes are dedicated to schools. In the end, someone is going to pay. That's not fear, lies or propaganda, that is a simple fact.

Allen
596
Points
Allen 05/16/12 - 03:11 pm
2
0
The Borough has more sources

The Borough has more sources of revenue than property taxes or sales taxes, such as state revenue sharing, grants and net revenue from the two hospitals. Borough employees also pay costs of the health care plan through deductions and co-insurance payments.

Lots of local private employers have health care plans for their employees, such as Tesoro and ConocoPhillips. Private companies don't usually give out information about their employee plans to the general public, so I don't see how the Borough is supposed to compare them. I believe that the Borough does use data from the public and private sector in making decisions about what kind of health care benefits to offer employees.

I don't buy the ideology that public employees shouldn't have health care benefits just because some residents don't have equivalent health care benefits.

wings
44
Points
wings 05/16/12 - 05:33 pm
0
2
Do you work for the government, Allen?

Really, you can't exactly call Tesoro and Conoco Phillips ... or any oil connected corporation a private moms or pops business, and it's unfair to compare something you can't even get data for. That basically makes your entire statement nil and void whether you buy the "ideology" or not. The reality of a government that's for the people and by the people are the reason they exist at all, and the people should at least get a vote on what they're paying for. I won't reach into your pocket to pay my doctor bill, why should someone reach into mine, especially someone I've hired to work for me. Why should my employees receive health care when I don't? And the bottom line is your last statement ... "WE - most residents" don't get health care donated to us, and it certainly isn't equivalent to the state employees already, and $20,000 more a year, knocks it way out of the ball park. That would sure make "US" a very healthy public.

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