Speak Out: Delaware state workers’ health care

The State Employee Benefits Committee is considering raising premiums for tens of thousands of state workers and their families, although nothing has been decided yet.

• Many of us in the private sector also are paying higher premiums and our insurance doesn’t transfer with us in retirement. — Norma Lynn Evans-Hudson

• Question, how often does private sector get pay increases? — Tamra Price-Callaway

• Private sector pay increases? I didn’t have a pay increase that wasn’t erased by higher medical and social security increases for over 10 years. Please don’t compare. My company laid off thousands — insecure job! Most companies do not have pension plans. None of us were better off than the other. Your fight isn’t what others get. Take your fight to the state and what you get or should get. — Lisette Gilbert Mees

• The insurance premiums are based on usage and the cost of that usage as the state employee pool ages and is using the insurance more, the amount that the insurance company pays out goes up and then they want to raise the premiums. The problem is partially the insurance companies and partially the health care industry that charges $35 for a 12-cent Ibuprofen.

There is no easy solution and it is not 100 percent anyone’s fault. It is the system that has failed. State employees are lucky that they are subsidized on health insurance. A lot of the workers outside of the state system pay a hell of a lot more for their health care coverage that is a minimal plan at best. Keep in mind that these big insurance companies are the same insurance and pharmaceutical companies that pay out billions of dollars lobbying not only our state legislatures but also our national legislatures. Until a better solution is available, the state employees will have to eat the insurance increase. They can always opt out and pay for their own Obamacare premiums. It’s a Catch 22. — Ronald Woods

• Obamacare is the biggest, single reason for the constant premium increases. Forcing insurance companies to cover issues that were not normally covered, under any plan, is part of their issue. However, the biggest issue the companies have is, Obama promised everyone would have to buy insurance, thereby increasing the rolls. It hasn’t happened. No one, not even the government, as Obama found, can force healthy young adults to buy something they feel they do not need. The companies agreed to the extra coverage, based on the unfulfilled promise. Now they are paying but the returns are not there. In short, we, as a working country, are and are going to continue to pay for Obama care, whether we use it, or some other option. Once again, our government sold us out with a promise of unachievable “gifts”! Oh and by the way, Ronald. You aren’t paying for the pill, you are paying for the person that delivered it to you. — Dennis Mehrenberg

• The Affordable Care Act in and of itself isn’t a contributing factor. However, the fact that the current administration and the GOP continue to play their childish games, talking repeal of the law (instead of improving and repairing those problems with it), which is causing uncertainty (instability) is a key factor. The main thing that wreaks havoc on insurance is uncertainty and instability. — Brian P Slattery

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