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Health care costs are nothing new to private sector workers

May 29, 2011
Morning Journal News

It's no wonder Ohio's public employees are upset about the passage of Senate Bill 5 and are working to have it repealed.

Senate Bill 5, along with limiting some of the collective bargaining rights of public employees, includes a provision that restricts government agencies in Ohio from paying more than 85 percent of their employees' health insurance premiums.

A survey of 49 of Columbiana County's governmental entities and school districts conducted by the Morning Journal found that employees in the city of East Liverpool are paying the highest percentage of their health insurance premiums - 31 percent.

But, the survey also found that only two public employers in the county require their workers to pay more than 15 percent, and the rest are paying significantly less or nothing at all.

By comparison, a U.S. Department of Labor survey from 2009 showed private sector workers pay in Ohio paid an average of 31 percent of their monthly health insurance premiums for family coverage.

And locally in the private sector, we know of employees who are paying 30, 40 or even more than 50 percent of their insurance premiums.

Asking employees to share in their health care costs is nothing new in the private sector, many have been paying much more than 15 percent for years.

If you're not employed in the public sector, and you're feeling sympathetic toward the anti-SB5 movement, you'd be better off assessing your own personal health insurance situation before supporting that cause with your signature or vote.

You might decide that 15 percent isn't too much to ask of public employees.



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