Saturday, November 10, 2012

More Jindal Coersion

Governor Jindal intimidated his way to another win over the Legislature and the voters by turning over the administration of group benefits health insurance to Blue Cross Blue Shield. See the excellent post on this travesty in the Louisiana Voice blog.

All employee groups participating in OGB programs spoke against the privatization move. The groups opposing included the Retired Teachers' Association, the LAE, LFT, AFSME, and the School Boards Association. These groups remained in opposition even after the Jindal hand picked administrator for OGB sent out a glowing letter of praise for the Blue Cross contract to all participating School Boards earlier this week. This Coersion has become Jindal's trademark.

Only one school board official from Jefferson Parish testified in favor of the contract. The Jefferson Parish official thanked the Jindal Administration for the one million dollar savings the move would mean for Jefferson Parish. But other testimony before the committee pointed out that the one million savings only was possible because of the huge surplus in the OGB account caused by the excellent management by OGB. The savings in premium would have occurred without the Blue Cross takeover. Upon questioning by Rep. Pat Smith, the Jefferson official admitted that the Jindal voucher program was costing Jefferson two million dollars this year! Wonder why the Jefferson school system would thank Jindal for a net loss of one million?

Rep. Katrina Jackson pointed out that the actuaries are already predicting a huge hundred million dollar increase in payout of benefits for the new plan which will more than wipe out any temporary savings. Get ready for a big premium increase!

The following are the strong legislators who still voted "no" on the privatization plan:
Senate House
Senator Sherri Smith Buffington page1image4404Rep. James Armes
Senator Fred Mills, Senator Edwin Murray
Rep. Jared Brossett
Rep. Roy Burrell
Rep. Katrina Jackson, Rep. Edward “Ted” James, Rep. Walt Leger

Rep. Helena Moreno
Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, Rep. Ledricka Thierry

Please send an email "thank you" to those legislators for standing up to Jindal and for the employees and voters!

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