Watched the Mayor pontificate endlessly (again) about the school budget at last night's SC meeting. Especially interesting to me was his contention that health care costs will rise by 9% this year.
Is he pulling numbers out of his butt again? According to GIC, the cost for the GIC Medicare extension plan, the plan held by most of the Medicare retirees, will decrease by 7.2% next year.
"Retirees who are enrolled in the state Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) Option Medicare Extension (OME) plan received very good news this week – health insurance rates for FY17 will decrease by 7.2%.
In addition, the GIC has voted to maintain the same copayments and deductibles that have been in effect for the past year, without any increase.
For retirees not enrolled in Medicare, but rather the basic Indemnity Plan, premiums will increase 2.9% for FY17. Across all GIC health plans the average combined premium increase is 3.6%.
As is the case nationally, the driving factor for the increase in rates is the rising cost of prescription drugs. Specifically, so-called specialty drugs have caused a sharp increase in healthcare spending over the past two years. These are drugs designed to fight rare diseases and specific forms of cancer.
Pharmacy benefit plans, such as the new SilverScript plan, are designed to help combat these price increases. SilverScript is the drug benefit now offered through the OME plan.
“From what we understand the decrease in OME premiums is directly related to the success of the SilverScript program has had in stabilizing drug costs.”
Looks like the SC plans to have a "special" meeting Tuesday @ 7 p.m. to "present" their sham of a budget. Naturally under Chair Driscoll there is a stark absence of a Public Participation period. If there is any "input," it will likely be the "talking points" variety that they and their co-conspirators at the Ed Foundation, with a bunch of pre-fab "questions" designed to elicit the scripted handwringing over the fake million-dollar "deficit" Dolan and Taymore want us to believe is credible.
These people need to go! All of them! The only credible adult is no longer in the room.
There is no way they will be able to ram through another override. People are *******
Not one more penny for the schools. They have had the majority of tax money for years. They have wasted so much, hidden costs and manipulated budgets. The MPS continue to break laws. Many parents and the MEF lobby live in a presumptuous and delusional universe. The voters of Melrose sent a number of messages in the last election. It is time for the politicians and school employees to listen and change their ways! Time for a reality check. Enough for the schools.
The first responders in our city work in fire houses and a police station which are unhealthy and unsafe. Public Safety infrastructure is where money should be spent.
The MEF mafia and SC are putting forward their "talking points" about the $1 million "deficit", along with all kinds of scare tactics--having to cut music, having to eliminate music rooms, etc. It's all a huge cluster$$$$ of nonsense by people with zero ethics or basis in factual representation. They are having a pretend "budget meeting" tomorrow night, with the preapproved "questions" to be submitted and discussed. Maybe Guilfoil will be there to triple wash&spin any potentially awkward questions or stupid responses.
And just to add whip to their cluster$$$$ latte, they went and swore in M-Grande this morning, thereby giving the finger to the community and any who might be concerned about the ethics and law of the whole thing, refusing to wait for the Secretary of State's office to weigh in. Now wouldn't you think that based on how much trouble this SC and administration are already in, they might go to great lengths to use "an abundance of caution" (a mock-worthy Van Campen quote) in this case? Naw, not this contemptuous bunch. There's a picture of Driscoll eagerly looking on, making sure the handpicked darling (who lost the election!) of their sick agendas gets sworn in as quickly as possible.
What a total messed-up city charter that would allow LOSERS of any election to take a spot on either board of governance when an absence occurs, giving a literal 3rd finger to the voters who rejected these candidates as unworthy for office.
It is no wonder that Melrose has become a disgraced laughing stock thanks to these awful officials.
I'm watching the recorded session from 3/15, when a question comes up about raising taxes to cover this so-called "projected shortfall" ($1,000,000.00). Taymore responded "That's not mine.", but in the background you can hear RD say (not a verbatim quote) "No. We're maxed out at Prop 2 1/2, and have no plans for an override." There's a pause and then he says "However, anyone else can propose one." So there it is - he's given the marching orders to the MEF'ers.
The man just can't accept the will of the voters. In his supreme arrogance, it's impossible for him to conceive that someone actually said no to him. I have a six year old (only child) grandson who thinks the same way. Hopefully he'll outgrow that before he gets elected Mayor someplace.
In watching the 3/22 SC meeting, in response to a query about how much health insurance increases would be, you responded between 4% and 9%, depending on which bargaining unit was being looked at.
As you full well know, Mr. Mayor, the overall increase across all plans city wide (and for those who have forgotten, all health care costs are paid by the city side of the budget) is 3.6%. How can the overall increase fall outside those 4 through 9% parameters?
Could it be perhaps that you neglected to factor retirees/survivors into your stated rates? Did you not know that non-medicare retirees/survivors rate will increase by 2.9%, and that medicare retirees/survivors (the majority of insured) rates will actually drop by 7.2%?
If you're still wondering why your override failed, it's because no one believes your numbers anymore, since they are quite obviously fabrications intended only to bolster whatever position you take. Why do you find it so hard to be honest?