March 23, 2010

Legislature in rolling recess - "Road Kill" caucus makes 11th hour push to underfund your health benefits and make you pay more

Most of the Legislature has gone home, not to be called back until their leaders have worked out a budget and revenue deal. When that will be is anybody’s guess.

But this means we have more time to send messages to them, including some of the customized messages here.


The so-called “Road Kill Caucus” of supposedly middle-of-the-road House members have urged the three top House budget writers to scuttle the $65 million state employee health insurance funding plan. They, in effect, want to impose higher state employee co-pays, deductibles and premiums.  

The 16 House Road Killers in their March 21 letter instead call for $55 million to fund the health insurance deficit. They call for language that says if the state insurance commissioner deems that the fund has become unstable, then automatic “adjustments” would be made to co-pays and deductibles. This is already a self-fulfilling outcome—Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has already said the health insurance program needs $105 million to become stable, so the Road Killers’ real goal is to make you pay more. 

The Road Killers also include another poison pill—saying the higher co-pays and deductibles could be avoided if “the terms of the underlying bargaining agreements are revisited and the division of insurance premium between employer and employee are adjusted.”  

So in more direct language, the House Road Killers want to underfund your benefits – hiding behind the insurance commissioner to do it -- and trigger higher co-pays, deductibles and premiums.  

That’s why it’s so important to keep the calls coming into your legislators.

CALL TO ACTION AGAINST THE ROAD KILLERS ATTACK ON YOUR FAMILY’S HEALTH CARE:  Call 1-800-562-6000. Tell legislators to fund state worker health insurance with at least $65 million in General Fund-State funds in the final budget (ESSB 6444) for state employee health care. And no mandate to bargain over premiums! Instead, close tax loopholes on big out-of-state banks in the final state budget (ESSB 6444) so we can keep health care funded, stable and affordable for our families.


Here are the names of the 16 House Democrats who signed the Road Kill Caucus letter attacking your health benefits:
Rep. Deb Eddy, 48th Dist.
Rep. Dave Quall, 40th Dist.
Rep. Judy Clibborn, 41st Dist.
Rep. Reuven Carlyle, 36th Dist.
Rep. Kathy Haigh, 35th Dist.
Rep. Lynn Kessler, 24th Dist.
Rep. Brian Blake, 19th Dist.
Rep. Dean Takko, 19th Dist.
Rep. Larry Seaquist, 26th Dist.
Rep. Marcie Maxwell, 41st Dist.
Rep. Fred Finn, 35th Dist.
Rep. Larry Springer, 45th Dist.
Rep. Tina Orwall, 33rd Dist.
Rep. Al O’Brien, 1st Dist.
Rep. Ross Hunter, 48th Dist.
Rep. Jeff Morris, 40th Dist.
It’s worth noting that two of the three recipients of the letter are also members of the Road Kill Caucus: Rep. Kelli Linville, 42nd Dist., chair of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Rep. Mark Ericks, 1st Dist., Ways and Means vice chair.

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