* The Illinois Policy Institute’s Scott Reeder…
And while Quinn was governor, the state entered into a contract with SEIU to contribute money for each hour worked by home care workers represented by the union toward health insurance.
The state is paying $1.11 an hour.
But here is the rub: Fewer than one-fifth of the home care workers actually accepted the insurance offered by the health care fund administered by SEIU.
So instead of the state just contributing toward the 5,000 employees accepting the insurance, taxpayers are paying for those employees and an extra 20,000 workers who said they didn’t want it.
Wouldn’t it be better if workers declining the insurance got a pay raise instead?
Why would Quinn negotiate a contract like that?
At least on the surface, it would appear the contract has the state paying 80 percent more than it should.
Messages were left with SEIU and Quinn, but neither responded.
Wow! Heckuva scoop!
* How about we read the contract? This issue is explained on pages 6 and 7.
From SEIU’s spokesman…
There is no ‘surcharge,’ on everyone and certainly nobody is being compelled to pay for benefits that are not provided (which IPI is dishonestly trying to suggest).
The state’s preferred method of accounting is to work that amount into the hourly rate as opposed to paying a lump sum per individual, hence why, by their accounting, it looks like everyone is being charged for health insurance. Again, the rate is based on the cost of up to the capped level of 5,250 workers taking advantage of the SEIU health insurance.
Yep. That 5,250 number is explained on page 7.
The union, by the way, claims it has no record of being contacted about this story.
* Full statement from James Muhammad, SEIU Healthcare Illinois vice president…
“In its latest attack against our workers, the Illinois Policy Institute, the political right hand of Bruce Rauner’s pocketbook which dutifully serves as his policy mouthpiece, is making totally inaccurate assertions about health insurance benefits for home healthcare providers.
“The IPI is making the outrageous claim that the state is contributing funds towards unwanted and unclaimed benefits. This is simply inaccurate. The state ONLY contributes funding sufficient to provide health insurance for a portion of the workforce that works full-time, or close to full-time, and has set a maximum number of workers that it will fund to cap spending. And what the state DOES contribute to our health fund is efficient and cost-effective by any measure. What a coincidence that IPI has decided to attack benefits that Rauner wants to deny at the bargaining table, and for which a St. Clair County judge recently ordered him to restore funding. (The Rauner attack group also incorrectly asserted that the administrator of the fund isn’t a full-time worker.)
“We have countless and moving stories of low-wage workers, for whom the health fund has been a life-saver. But we don’t think this, or facts, matter to the IPI, which is pursuing a coordinated political agenda with Rauner and his billionaire friends to harm workers, strip them of their voice and ensure that employers can lower wages, benefits and protections throughout Illinois.”