Commentary

JUDGE’S COMMENTS

Taxpayers will bear fees from new health care act
David Barkemeyer
Milam County Judge

Our Scott & White representative paid us a visit to give us an update on our health care plan.

One of the benefits of being employed by Milam County is to have health care insurance available through a Scott & White Group Health Plan with the premiums paid by the county.

Current cost of the option that most employees choose is $612.23 per month. Total cost to the county for the most current plan year was $1,253,629 (it adds up). If the employee chooses to have dependent coverage, all costs for the dependent insurance are paid for by the employee. Now here’s the part that I particularly want you taxpayers to hear. Starting in January, 2014, the county (along with other employers who are already providing their employees with health care insurance) must start paying additional fees imposed on us by the Affordable Care Act that will be included in our health care insurance premiums.

These fees will be collected by the insurance providers (in our case Scott & White) and sent to various government agencies such as the IRS, Health and Human Services, and so on, who in turn will fund agencies that will be created to run the “affordable” care program.

So indirectly through this mechanism they are able to extract our local tax dollars to run this program. Our employees receive absolutely no additional health care benefits, yet our health care premiums (and consequently your Milam County budget expenditures) will go up by approximately $25,000 next year as a result of “affordable” care.

This is another one of those so-called unfunded mandates, cleverly disguised as an insurance premium. And this is only the beginning.

As always, somebody else besides them (that would be us) is paying for it.

No wonder they can call it “affordable”. dbarkemeyer@milamcounty.net


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2013-09-26 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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