I have to take a minute here to discuss this amazing debacle of the anticipated and unprecedented increase of more than 20 percent in the State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP). I might be sitting at the PBA office, but the cop in us never really goes away.
I have to wonder how the state treasurer’s office makes payments every month to Horizon, and somehow, someway, somewhere, somebody misses the fact that they spent $1.2 BILLION more than the previous year. That would be billion, with a “B.”
And wait, there’s more.
The “oversight” wasn’t discovered until JULY! With a statewide budget of about $50 billion, an overpayment of $1.2 billion should show up somewhere in the check register. Let’s do some quick math: That is ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS MORE A MONTH!
Let me get away from billions for a second. If your $500 car payment suddenly jumped to $620
for almost a year, does anybody in the house think something is a little off? Will we ever know the
person(s) in treasury that continued to hit the “submit” button every month and missed the
Does anybody at Horizon think to pick up the phone over a 10-to-11–month period and say, “Hey, funniest thing going on over here with your bill. We should probably have a chat.”
Horizon claims $13 billion in yearly revenue, and nobody at Horizon noticed the extra $1.2 billion in the win column. I wonder how that happened? We can’t spend $50 million a year for a COLA for our retirees, but we can give an extra $100 million dollars a month to a “nonprofit?”
Honestly, I don’t wonder how that happened. It is literally impossible for that to happen. If somebody missed $100 million dollars a month, they should be home typing up their resumes. At the state and at Horizon.
But they aren’t, and they won’t because I’ll say it again, that simple scenario is impossible. Draw your own conclusions. You are all a smart group.
So here we are in the 11th hour being offered permanent cuts in benefits with some manufactured deadline and some “persuasion” to get it all done as soon as possible. Please don’t tell us it’s an anomaly because of COVID and then tell us the cuts are permanent. I can already predict the outcome of these “negotiations.”
Dust off the dozens and dozens of old cost-saving measures that you have from the Plan Design Committee over the years. At least humor us and open the 11 resolutions to significantly lower costs that you were given on Sept. 12.
If it’s a COVID anomaly, then let these cuts expire after one year. Jiggle the keys in the left hand and slide the new benefits contract over with the right hand and tell us it’s a partnership.
But they won’t. They never do. They never will. And somebody at the Division will
just continue to hit the submit button every month. For a while anyway
Let me repeat the important point here: IMPOSSIBLE!