Gov. Ned Lamont wants ideas – here is an idea!

While Lamont’s proposed cost-of-living reductions are a very small step in the right direction, we need much more. As the state legislature considers Medicare for all, it’s time it considered Medicare for all retired state employees and teachers.

The “rich” obviously don’t have enough money (or willingness to stay in Connecticut to become tax donkeys) to pay for the current gold-plated employee benefits. So now the governor is proposing to soak the poor and middle class just for driving to work, eating, or trying to get well, with tolls and sales taxes on food and medicine.

It’s time for fairness to all Connecticut residents. Why should government employees get better retirement healthcare coverage than the rest of the taxpayers who are covered by Medicare?

The state clearly can’t afford the retirement benefits it has “negotiated” between governors elected by the state employees unions and those unions – leaving out the interests of the majority of the citizens. The legislature never even had to approve these payments. All they had to do was not vote on the agreements for the benefits to go into effect. Two independent parties to the contract never negotiated these benefits in good faith.

Maybe the unions won’t agree to this now, although there are clearly constitutional issues as to the legality of the 2017 SEBAC deal, but SEBAC can be reopened in June 2021. If we get to June 2021 without a balanced budget, perhaps we should fire state employees by a lottery process (to avoid any racial, age or gender discrimination) until the deficit is closed. Maybe that will get the unions’ attention and bring them to the table now to really solve this mess.

James Miller, a resident of Lyme, was an investment banker at Merrill Lynch from 1984 – 1996. During that time he worked with the government of Argentina to privatize Telefonica Argentina, Telecom Argentina and YPF (the Argentine national oil company). 

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  1. Of course Medicare For All should include everyone. Unlike ACA/Obamacare, public employees and large corporations, Congress and their staff, State legislators, all excluded themselves from the disaster called ACA/Obamacare and then told everyone that had to use it what a great deal it was—that’s called hypocrisy.

    Putting everyone under the same health umbrella and lack luster options and service
    will put the ‘protected class’ on notice, and kill serious talk of Medicare for All.

    1. Sue, you are rather transparent in your statement’s mission by trying to intertwine the ACA (an idea born in conservative think tanks and a gift to the insurance industry) and Medicare For All. The so called “lack luster” options that you speak of offered by a national health system have provided every other industrialized country’s citizens with a longer life expectancy than those Americans caught in a system where insurers skim money passing between patient and provider. Thankfully, a new age of voters not so easily manipulated by the scare tactics of the insurance industry and their shills have looked around the world and discovered for themselves that we’ve been duped. Change is coming.

      1. Ask any Canadian near the U.S. border why they have a U.S. Catastrophic Health Insurance Policy. It’s because Canadian National insurance stinks.

      2. Ask any Brit the same question. Or any resident of any nation with a national health care system. That’s why major US hospitals have luxurious “guest quarters” for wealthy foreign residents seeking the best medical in the world. Here in the USA.

  2. State employees pay into this system for 10 years- essentially double pay their health insurance during this time period, so it would involve refunding that money to all the state employees who have or are paying in

  3. It all makes a lot of sense so long as Connecticut is not reneging on contractual promises to state employees. This can result in a significant liability similar to what previous Governor Rowland created and tax payers are paying for it now after the state LOST the lawsuit.

    1. The “contractural promises” are of dubious constitutional standing. Of course no Democratic Attorney general would ever vigorously pursue the citizens interest against their union bosses.

  4. Interesting article – however, I am unsure how Mr. Miller determines people would be provided services if the state ‘fired’ state employees using the proposed lottery system. This is hilarious!

  5. Imagine if all CT citizens had the salaries/benefits/pensions of CT’s public Unions – State and Municipal. Among the highest in the nation. No one would then ever say CT is the nations’ most mismanaged State. And the Exodus would reverse itself.

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