First we need to address the non collection of taxes owed because of our healthy tax credit system. We give away almost as much money in tax credits as we collect for the general fund through the income tax. These credits are not officially part of the budget. We should ask the legislature if they come into special session to suspend all but the most needed for the common good.
Next, regarding the comment about the health benefits not requiring co-pays the person needs to look at both the Providence Choice and the Providence Statewide Plan.
The Providence Choice is for those people residing in the Portland area. Providence has its system in place and those on the Choice Plan are forced into the Providence system.
For the Providence Statewide there are substanial co-pays that will become problematic for those employees on the lower end of the pay scale.
The only other choice is the Kaiser Plan which doesn't work outside of Portland without having to go to Portland for many services.
The PEEB board made the choice to have a medical manager but I don't think they realized that just because employees are in Salem and live in Salem they would have to pay more for the same services out of pocket than those in Portland because in fact Providence just added those Portland folk to their plan and their panel of doctors.
Don't take it out on the employees who are already on wage freeze.
Really look at the number and variety of tax credits that have eaten up money not for the common good but to subsidize buying refrigerators, building wind farms and replacing diesel engines which would have had to be replaced anyway because of Federal clean air regulations.
Keep the good tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit which helps struggling families.
posted 2 years, 11 months ago
view in context