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HEALTH CARE: State workers have it good

Letter by Bruce J. Muggli, Gig Harbor on Nov. 16, 2010 at 11:33 am with 22 Comments »
November 16, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: “Fewer health care choices in Olympia” (TNT, 11-15).

I read that state employees were having a 46 percent increase in health care premiums, with full family coverage costing $179 per month.

I work for a small company which provides health care coverage through Regence Blue Shield. I have to purchase insurance to cover my wife and children. The company pays for my coverage. My last increase was 17.9 percent.

That doesn’t sound too bad until you realize that I was paying $1,008.91, and now I’m paying $1,189.62 per month. My increase was $180.71. This is not a “Cadillac” plan. I have co-payments, a deductible and co-insurance amounts.

Compared to what I’m paying, $179 sounds great.

Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. Sound like a good argument for single payer.

    $1200 a month works out to about $7.00 and hour. I now people who work for just a few dollars more an hour without benefits.

  2. Maybe those people working for $10 bucks an hour can just trade their labor for that of a brain surgeon. Why shoudn’t the guy that dropped out of high school be payed as much as a guy that did 12 years of undergrad and postgrad work anyway? What we need is social justice. I’ll sit on my lazy butt while you go to medical school, and you charge me what I can afford to pay. That way, everyone will be equally miserable.

  3. velmak –
    A “musician” who can’t sing in tune or play anything more complicated than the chords of Smoke on the Water can be worth millions while a highly trained concert pianist struggles to pay the rent.

    Skill and training aren’t necessarily the determinant in pay scale.

  4. the3rdpigshouse says:

    For those who believe that minimum wage was intended to be a living wage for a family, take another drag on that stuff you’re smoking!!

  5. First_Lefty says:

    You could double the minimum wage and not have enough to take care of a family ($35,568)

    I can remember when sales people and reporters at the TNT were paid $300 a week ($15,600) and most of them had side investments – summer cabins, etc. Of course gasoline was 49 cents a gallon, you could buy a sandwich, fries and a martini at Honan’s for about $3.00 and a two bedroom house, 950 SF was $11,950. A new car? About $2,500. A visit to the doctor? No copay.

    Shall I keep going?

  6. First_Lefty says:

    “Why shoudn’t the guy that dropped out of high school be payed as much as a guy that did 12 years of undergrad and postgrad work anyway?”

    A good tool and die mechanic can create just about any tool (invent) out of a piece of metal, without engineered drawings. Let’s see the brain surgeon do that.

    Machinists in the UAW were required to learn that art as part of their apprenticeship. The college grads hired to manage them don’t even know what tool machining is.

  7. First_Lefty says:

    Mr. Muggli:

    Might I suggest if you want better benefits, you’ll need to find a job with a company that can afford them as part of your compensation package?

  8. slasmith says:

    In your expert opinion should that company be the government?

  9. bobcat1a says:

    So, velmak, anyone who only makes $10/hour just sits around on their lazy butt all day waiting for a handout? How does one get that purblind?

  10. If you do what you’re supposed to you shouldn’t be trying to raise a family on minimum wage. Do well in the school that is provided free of charge to every child in America, go to college or learn a trade, then establish yourself BEFORE you start a family.

    Am I the only one not thoroughly shocked that people who have kids before they can even support themselves never manage to pull out of poverty?

  11. Once again Ronneiw is blaming the workers for the lack of decent jobs in American. I suppose the workers insisted that their jobs be sent overseas.

  12. xring — Even in a booming economy the people who slacked off in school and/or had kids before they could support themselves struggle to survive. This isn’t new or different, there are just MORE since the jobs have gone overseas. Even if there were plenty of decent-paying jobs available, people who hadn’t prepared themselves wouldn’t be getting them.

  13. Sumner401 says:

    xring, the right always blames the worker, they think if they do, no one will now they are a poor low wage worker themselves.

  14. Sumner401 says:

    Mr. Muggli, do you now see the failure of attaching health care to employment?
    Time to move to a single payer system then you won’t be troubled that someone else has a better plan than you.

  15. “won’t be troubled that someone else has a better plan than you.

    Sumned up nicely… that is what this is really about.

  16. ronn – if there were well paying jobs available do you think the workers who have prepared themselves would be competing for the low paying, no benifits jobs along with the unskilled?

  17. xring — No, they wouldn’t, but that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that even if there WERE enough well-paying jobs for the people who had prepared themselves properly, there would still be a huge contingent of UN-prepared people trying to support families on minimum wage. That’s why I don’t feel that the minimum wage should be raised to a family-supporting level.

    This depression will pass eventually. I know that seems callous to the prepared people who are standing in the food bank lines for their basic needs, but the reality is that the economy is cyclical. The question isn’t if things will get better, it’s WHEN things will get better and what’s the best way to get there the fastest.

    Frankly, I don’t know how to fix this, but in the meantime my family has gone vegetarian every other night so we can increase how much we give to the food banks. My hope is that the prepared people who are having to take minimum wage jobs right now can make it through with our extra donations until the economy improves and they can once again get the jobs they prepared themselves for.

    I can’t do anything for the un-prepared. They are always going to struggle.

  18. And then there is TEA congressman-elect Andy Harris, who ran strictly on the evils of government provided health care, who got ballistic during his freshman orientation because his government provided health care won’t kick in until a month after he is on the job…..


  19. People like Bruce, those who chose to work for “take-it-or-leave-it employers, those who were so excited to get a job that they didn’t care about the terms of employment, now begrudge those of us who had the foresight to have the backing of a strong labor organization.

    When you sit on your hands and allow the employer to decide how much you’re worth, you can’t expect very much.

    Sports players, movie stars, corporate executives, people who understand that wage and benefit negotiations shouldn’t be entered into from a position of weakness, all have professional representatives to hammer out the terms of their employment for them.

    When you walk in the front door of your potential employer’s business with your hat in your hand, expect to end up paying the lions share of your health care premiums. And don’t complain because someone with the intelligence to hire professional representation, has it better than you, Bruce.


  20. JudasEscargot says:

    beerBoy – you beat me to it.

    I love how quickly these “TEA Party” candidates have turned around – bemoaning the THOUGHT of a nationalized health care program and complaining about having to wait 28 days for insurance.

    My program required that I wait over 60 days. My wife and I paid COBRA meanwhile. I’m sure the doctor makes more money than we do.

  21. Sumner401 says:

    I wonder if the teawhiners are now figuring out they have been fooled and lied to……again.

  22. Judas — I know my doctor makes more than me. Of course he studied his rear off in high school and college, then endured 4 grueling years of medical school, then 3 sleepless years of residency. Now he sees patients in the mornings at the hospitals, holds office hours from 8 to 4, and sees his hospitalized patients again in the evening. I’m pretty sure he makes hospital rounds during lunch as well. He makes a good living, but I think he’s earning it.

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