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Time for another look at health insurance costs

May 26, 2011

Last year, the Town of Callicoon hit property owners with a 7% tax increase. Residents were given little advance notice of the tax hike, and the town board didn’t make much of an effort to close the budget gap by trimming expenses. But this is an election year, so perhaps our elected officials will now consider adopting some of the proposed reforms that they rejected last year.

One way to reduce the burden on taxpayers would be to reign in the spiraling budget expense of health insurance which now costs the town over $320,000 a year.

Like most Americans with full time jobs, new hires to our hard-working highway department contribute to their health insurance. But some members of the town board, all of whom have jobs, have the town pay the full cost of their health insurance without contributing a penny of their own. While not illegal, this seems wrong. Council members, with limited duties, should pay the bulk of their health insurance. Furthermore, no council member should ever saddle the town with a policy costing more than $8,300 a year if they are entitled to get health insurance coverage where they work.

Linda Babicz
Jill Wiener
Youngsville and Callicoon Center, NY

Health Insurance

Linda and Jill are so correct. But go a step further. Look at the insurance benefits given to the S.C. Legislature, most of whom can hardly be called "hard working." Last I heard, their health insurance can cost us nearly $19,000 a year each! That's an astounding number, considering what they do NOT accomplish.