Municipal Health Insurance Reform in Conference Committee Budget

Today, after years of debate and weeks of negotiations, the legislature’s budget conference committee released a report that included a thoughtful plan to address municipal health care costs and ensure that cities and towns across the Commonwealth will achieve meaningful savings. We applaud the leadership of Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Murray, and Ways and Means Chairmen Brewer and Dempsey in including meaningful municipal reform in their budgets, and we also recognize the municipal and labor officials who have shown a willingness to sit down and have difficult conversations in order to protect jobs and provide real savings to taxpayers. Allowing municipalities the ability to control costs through employee health plan design, a practice that the state has employed successfully through the Group Insurance Commission, is a critical tool that will enable local services to be maintained despite the fourth consecutive year of local aid cuts. Municipal employees and retirees will continue to receive excellent and affordable health care—at a minimum, the same that state workers receive—and will maintain a meaningful voice in the negotiations. We urge the full legislature to endorse the conference committee report and ask the Governor to sign this reform into law.

Associated Industries of Massachusetts,
The Boston Foundation,
Boston Municipal Research Bureau,
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce,
Massachusetts Business Roundtable,
Massachusetts High Tech Council,
Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation,
Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, and
Stand for Children