Health Care Law Raises Pressure on Over-achievers (Public Unions) …
Cities including New York and Boston, and school districts from Westchester County, N.Y., to Orange County, Calif., are warning unions that if they cannot figure out how to rein in health care costs now, the price when the tax goes into effect will be steep, threatening raises and even jobs.
The total health care cost for the city’s nearly 300,000 municipal employees, pre-Medicare-age retirees and their dependents is expected to approach $8 billion by 2018.
Jim Finley, the executive director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, said he thought it would be hard for Connecticut towns and cities to get their unions to agree to cheaper health care benefits to avoid the tax.
“In the end, it’s the taxpayer that’s going to bear that burden,” Mr. Finley said.
Municipal unions opposed the inclusion of the tax in the health care law, and it was partly their efforts that succeeded in delaying its effective date until 2018.
“Some skeptics, and I’m not one of them, say that that’s why the tax was put into effect in 2018 — that it’s far enough away that people can consider whether or not they really want it to go into effect,” Mr. Piro, the health care lawyer, said.