Prop. B is bad medicine

You wouldn't know Prop. B has anything to do with children's health care — because proponents don't want you to know the true costs
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OPINION Proposition B on the November ballot would eviscerate health care for tens of thousands of public workers and their families. It would double the cost of children's health care for more than 30,000 public employees including teachers, nurses, firefighters, custodians, and gardeners — regardless of their ability to pay.

But you wouldn't know this is actually what Prop. B does because the recent focus has been on the measure's "reforms" to employee retirement. You wouldn't know this has anything to do with children's health care — because proponents don't want you to know the true costs of Prop. B.

What are those true costs?

A single mother will be forced to pay up to $5,600 per year for her child's health care — in addition to the $8,154 she already pays.

A custodian making only $40,000 per year would have to pay the same hike in health insurance premiums as the city's top brass, who could be making three times as much.

Talk about unintended consequences.

That's not reform, and it's not fair. The workers being blamed are the same city employees who this year voluntarily agreed to $250 million in wage concessions. These are the same workers who have willingly taken pay cuts totaling $750 million the last decade.

Proponents have framed Prop. B as an answer to the city's pension and retirement costs, but in reality, this measure is about health care. San Francisco's Office of the Controller's impartial analysis of Prop. B concludes that 70 percent of the savings from the measure would come from dramatically increasing the cost of dependent health care for working families.

A deep recession spurred by costly wars and reckless behavior on Wall Street has had devastating effects on our city and nation. Prop. B punishes city workers for this economic collapse by radically increasing the cost of their health care.

San Francisco has led the nation in providing universal access to health care. As author and founder of our HealthySF program, I encourage you to resist the attempt reverse progress on health care. Vote no on B.

Assembly Member Tom Ammiano represents the 13th District.

Comments

I luv this stuff. Essentially the argument is San Francisco residents should continue to see their vital City services cut and pay higher taxes to sudsidize the benefits of City employees, benefits like guaranteed pensions they don't get and most City employees don't even live in San Francisco...

"A custodian making $40,000 a year...?" What City is he talking about? The AVERAGE wages and benefits paid to a City janitor in the current budget is $73,000 a year, including any furlough days. He also mentions firefighters $159,000, nurses $174,000 and gardeners $84,000 as if these folks absolutely cannot contibute more for their benefits- laughable.

Of course, this elected official fails to mention that City health care is a $4 billion unfunded liablity growing at $300 million a year and that there will be no health care for employees and retirees down the road wthout major changes OR, under Prop B any employee regardless of number of dependents can purchase health insurance for $450 a month, a rate no one could get purchasing the same in the private sector...

This City desperately needs pension reform as pension costs gut our General Fund.

Why did the CHP recently agree to increase their pension and health contributions and why did ten of San Jose's eleven public employee unions agree to across-the-board 10% cuts in pay and benefts? Someone should tell the author there is a benefit cost problem.

SF voters aren't fools.

Posted by RBorBust on Sep. 22, 2010 @ 9:42 am

As a public school teacher who is making 50k, born and raised in SF, happy to pay taxes to help others and the head of household in a family of 5, this prop will make my life much more difficult. I don't claim that everyones situation is like my own but don't throw my family and other families under the bus as people who can afford this prop. My family has the right to health care that is excellent. I dedicate my life to working with young people and i understand that my pay may never be the same as the people this is trying to effect, but you have to understand that this is one thing we need. I hope you read this and think about it.

Posted by Isaac on Sep. 22, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

No problem- I am mostly interested in correcting misinformation regarding Prop B which is widespread. However, if you are stating as a public employee/teacher you should be immune to the skyrocketing costs of health care I would disagree. Or, if you are saying as a relatively lower paid public employee you should be immune, I would disagree with that also (the City's current premiums are the same regardless of income). If you are saying you likely should contribute more but Prop B is too much, understandable. (City health care currently $4 billion underfunded.) I would not expect any legislation to be a perfect remedy for all employee groups...

Peace...

Posted by RBorBust on Sep. 22, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

Teachers have also seen their health care contributions rise by $150/month each year for the last for years for Blue Shield, while the City/Districts portion rose by about $32/month. So some employees already pay their fair share.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

I feel for the teacher/parent situation, but next to no one in the private sector gets his or her family's medical benefits paid for at all, let alone moving from the contribution from 25% to 50%. My small business offers medical coverage pro rata to workers who want to work part-time instead of full-time, and our office is flooded with inquiries. In other words, people outside the municipal-worker world are anxious to be only partially covered themselves if they cannot work full-time. And we certainly don't pay for their families. We'd go out of business if we did.

Also, right now the Muni-transit workers don't contribute to the pension system at all. So, in exchange for the excellent Muni service and 30-minute mid-day waits for the 38-Bus, the most widely used bus in the United States, only to watch three arrive in flotilla, without Prop B we can continue to fund 100% the costs of their pensions. Muni workers, who currently contribute nothing, would have to start paying into the system as other city workers do, under the proposal.

As the writer of the proposition pointed out, we have a math problem here, not an attack on families. That's just left-wing conservatism. It's not liberal-minded and it's not objective.

# ↑ Facebook, "A few minutes with Jeff Adachi", August 28, 2010:

"City worker pensions are very generous. A police or firefighter can retire at 55 years of age and get a check for 90% of his or her last year’s salary. Last year, one police officer earned $516,000 in a single year. He also retired that same year and will receive a $230,000 a year pension paid by taxpayers. That amounts to an $8 million dollar payout over his lifetime."

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

The teacher already pays close to 50%. I'm a small business owner too; however more direct comparisons for coverage should be among large employers, since that is what the City is--a large employer. I checked with friends at a large national express shipping company, a large national consumer products company, a utility, a credit union and a tech company. All received family coverage for less than the $628/month that teachers pay now. I also don't like the reasoning that if private sector employees don't have good coverage, neither should public. It should be the other way around. That's a slippery slope.

Posted by Familygal on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

Rborbust, you are truly misinformed. you see there are more lower paid city employees than higher . Therefore, the lower paid city employees are taking the brunt of this measure, unfairly. They are paying a greater percentage of their salaries.

Two, Adachi also snuck in the pension reform under HEALTH CARE. If you look at the Pension System for San Francisco, Each UNION is different. They are only showing you the high ones, the Majority of City Workers do not receive that. Also, the City's Pension fund is over funded and the City has for years been trying to get their hands on that money to offset their spending problems.

So before you start putting addition expenses on the majority of city workers, please read all the information. This is just a personal attack on city workers by Jeff Adachi, A city worker.

Posted by in the know on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 7:58 am

Doesn't affect teachers guy. You should read it a little more carefully. What about summer school being cut for kids for the first time in its history in SF last summer...is that fair to the kids?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

...yeah you're right it's the fault of city employees that there's no summer school for kids...we specifically put that in the contract....

Posted by Guest on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

Sorry, but this DOES affect teachers, guy, for their healthcare. And teachers already pay $623 a month for the lowest option for family care. Different unions have different contributions. The fact that you don't know this proves that Prop B hides the facts. When I reviewed Prop B's website a few weeks ago, there is NO mention of the health care in Prop B's FAQ, and hardly anything about it in the rest of the site. They focus on pensions.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

You are absolutely right. A gardener starts at $51k in SF. A Fireman starts at $73K and can be expected to earn overtime. If these people cannot pay part of their dependent's health care costs no one can. The children will not go without healthcare. There is Healthy SF and a similar California program dor those in true need.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 22, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

Wouldn't putting kids into HealthySF or Medi-Cal, just shift the taxpayer burden to another program? Just doesn't make sense to me.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

I agree with RBorBust. I used to be a city worker, fire in fact and I paid nothing for myself for healthcare when I could have easily afforded an extra $100 a paycheck. 27 year olds who are unmarried do not need $80,000 pay wages with a high school diploma and an EMT license. I'm not asking to re-evaluate their hourly salary, I am demanding we require them to use it wisely to balance the scale. And yes, I do have a problem with people who make a salary within the SF city worker realm, but live elsewhere yet do not want to see their taxes fund programs and other workers who live and work in SF. I would rather take a 1-2% pay cut then see jobs lost...no one benefits from unemployment in that our salaries will not be distributed to necessary funding but to dispense unemployment at a rate of $800/month per person out of work instead of funding the $100 for insurance which could avoid that lay off. I also believe these healthcare changes should be temporary on the basis that if the budget improves, these financial delegations slowly taper over time.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

you my friend are a true idiot. who says a unmarried 27 year old doesnt need his salary. Maybe they bought a house in the area which as you know is very expensive. Is there a reason you are an ex city employee.. why did you leave SF if the getting is so good. Please explain to us why you are gone.. PLEASE

Posted by in the know on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 8:00 am

Can you please tell me why you feel a 27 year old should not be making that kind of money.? How does one afford a home in this region? Why are you an ex city employee if the money is so good here? sounds like jealousy to me...

Posted by in the know on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 8:02 am

"Why did the CHP recently agree to increase their pension and health contributions and why did ten of San Jose's eleven public employee unions agree to across-the-board 10% cuts in pay and benefts?"

Maybe because they were asked, and it was decided in a collaborative way, unlike Prop B.

Posted by Humanist on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

In reply to "I luve this stuff," you are obviously a Republican who cares little for the working man. I'm a teacher and this would affect me. I work with children everyday and I do not make a ton of money. I think when the article is talking about custodians, they might mean custodians at regular jobs who do make $40k a year. You should be ashamed of yourself for thinking the way you do.

Posted by Guest ko on Oct. 24, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

San Francisco unions agreed to contribute 7.5% of salary to retirement starting in July of 2011. Adachi knew this before he filed Prop B.

Thus the only new policy that Prop B will implement is shifting share of cost for health care, benefits that have been in place forever, onto the backs of working families.

Prop B ties the hands of the City to attract talent, to compete with the private sector, if the economy ever improves as it prevents sweeteners of fringe benefits.

The same fantasy economics that made Prop B sugar daddy Moritz billions of dollars are being visited upon San Francisco where voters are too smart to fall for this vindictiveness. At this point, everyone is scared that they might be the next to be pushed off of the cliff in order to trickle down upon and appease the gods of the market.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Sep. 22, 2010 @ 10:31 am

...That was the SEIU affilated who "agreed" to START to pay for their pensions July 1, 2011 only as a swap in exchange for a 6% pay raise. So the CIty went from picking up the 7.5% tab (which is not pensionable income) to giving a 6% pensionable income raise to 9,833 employees which cost taxpayers over $100 million in increased pension liability. So thanks for that.

Prop B calls for ALL City employees to pay 9% for their pensions and police and fire to increase from 7.5% to 10% (like CHP and state fiefighters just agreed to do.) It's LONG overdue - our vital City services are already being cut to pay for pensions and the costs are rising dramatically.

I will take a resident of SF's interests over organized labor representing City employees most of whom don't live in SF any day of the week. Seems logical to me.

Peace.

RB

Posted by RBorBust on Sep. 22, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

Rborbust, you are truly misinformed. you see there are more lower paid city employees than higher . Therefore, the lower paid city employees are taking the brunt of this measure, unfairly. They are paying a greater percentage of their salaries.

Two, Adachi also snuck in the pension reform under HEALTH CARE. If you look at the Pension System for San Francisco, Each UNION is different. They are only showing you the high ones, the Majority of City Workers do not receive that. Also, the City's Pension fund is over funded and the City has for years been trying to get their hands on that money to offset their spending problems.

So before you start putting addition expenses on the majority of city workers, please read all the information. This is just a personal attack on city workers by Jeff Adachi, A city worker.

Posted by in the know on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 8:03 am

Will everyone look at the larger picture?

The public needs to look at the rising cost of healthcare and work to control it. One of the best ways is to make people aware of how much they're paying. By making it pay it themselves.

Having no clue what your employer pays for your healthcare leads people to think it's cheap and should be protected. They completely ignore the fact that it's a bill someone is paying.

WHY are we paying people such high salaries in SF? Why are nurses paid 170,000 and firefighters 150,000+? Don't people realize this drives up the cost of everything? It will put everyone out of business if it keeps going up.

Enough with Marc and Ammiano acting like they know how to run a business.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 22, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

Even if you think some City employees are highly paid, remember there are many more who are not (for example, clerical staff, teachers, CNA's and myriad other categories that are hidden from view when you read articles about the firefighters, police and high-ranking officials). Why should union workers ever again be convinced to give back with unpaid furlough days and increased contributions to our pensions if we are going to be subsequently scapegoated by angry citizens who don't even care that we have made good faith concessions. As a City employee, I am losing over $100 per paycheck at this point, due to our union's voluntary concessions, and will lose even more when our pension payment kicks in. And then they want to raise the pension payment even more? Plus increase costs of health insurance?

Most of the public service and social service City workers I know are hard-working citizens who don't deserve this punitive backlash; we don't deserve to be painted with the broad bush of those highly paid workers you read about who get to work alot of overtime to increase their earnings or who have employed "spiking" to increase retirement pay. We do not work overtime, we aren't allowed to do "spiking" and we serve the public. Frankly, I don't see any reason to apologize for our expectations that the benefits we were promised in our contract should be delivered to us without punitive measures tacked on. From what I have read, Jeff Adachi won't be incurring these same additional costs. We are not the super-rich, just hard-working stiffs who struggle to make expenses just like everyone else. Making our lives more difficult, referring working families to Healthy Families, is not going to solve the real problem--that more people should unionize to protect their wages and also to incentivize private enterprise from trampling over workers' rights because of a fear that employees may unionize. From this perspective, supporting union workers is a win-win situation for everyone who works but is not in the upper-echelons of San Francisco official-dom and who do not pull in those over $200,000 salaries you read about. And in those lower-echelons of society is where you will find the majority of us San Francisco public employees.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 22, 2010 @ 11:30 pm

I am a San Franciscian firefighter, not making anywhere near 156K a year. I live paycheck to paycheck, supporting a family, just like many working for the City. I agree we all have to do our part to rescue what has been financially done to our City by past politicians over the years, but this is not the way. Maybe Adachi should walk the walk and talk the talk and start paying into his retirement like many other city workers have been doing for years.

Prop B has too many hidden agendas that have nothing to do with pension reform. Please, educate yourself, talk to someone gardening in the park, or a nurse at General hospital, and learn what Prop B is really all about!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 2:07 am

..."Maybe Adachi should walk the walk and talk the talk and start paying into his retirement like many other city workers have been doing for years."

Maybe you should read Prop B. Prop B requires all elected officials to begin contributing 9% of their wages to their pension. The fact that they currently pay nothing is absurd.

Posted by RBorBust on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 11:28 am

I won't attempt to claim that the driver behind Assemblyman Ammiano's opinion piece -- that the increase in health-care costs which will result from adoption of Prop B is unfair to his affected constituents, for the reasons stated -- is anything other than his wish to act in their best interests.

However, it is a bit disingenuous for him to trot out the single example that he does, wherein the single mother sees her annual health-care cost increase by a number in the thousands. It's a huge jump, no doubt. But as a column in the SF Examiner pointed out today, this example refers to just one -- and by far the most expensive -- of the three existing health care plans offered to City employees.

The *percentage* increase for family participants in the other plans, under Prop B, is in fact similar to that for the aformentioned single mother.

It would appear that, by switching plans, a City employee at that highest contribution level could drastically reduce his/her costs, and that the other two plans would come in cheaper than this high-priced one, even were Prop B to pass.

I have not researched enough to know about the differences between these plans, as obviously the coverage levels can vary, and thus I realize that switching plans is likely not an apples-to-apples deal. Still, in an environment where all City residents are being affected by cutbacks in munipical services, and where for many the thought of free health coverage -- if even any at all -- represents fantasy, asking voters to essentially continue to subsidize City employee benefits could be a tough sell.

In the interest of fairness, then, a more representative example of the weight of Prop B's negative impact would have been appropriate, rather than the highest, most headline-grabbing raw number that impacts 3.4% of the covered workforce.

BTW @ Guest 2:07 AM, I wouldn't mind knowing what you mean by the "hidden agendas" and "what Prop B" is really all about", and I don't say that facetiously. Clue me in, for if this is a smokescreen for higher-up backroom deals being done, then that's something that Ammiano should really highlight in his objection.

On the other hand, it had better not be simply because the mere *suggestion* of pension reform, and paying something for benefits received, is anathema to the City employee workforce. If so, then the time has come that private-sector workers have begun to believe that this protected benefit -- which they don't receive -- needs to go away. Sure, if I were a union worker, I'd be upset that these perks are being rescinded, but I might also realize that in the current state of affairs, there's no way they could last.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 11:50 am

just read the title of the propositon. HEALTH CARE REFORM. What does it have to do with pensions. NOTHING. As a city worker, I do not get overtime. This is a jab at Adachi, who pays nothing for health care. The San Francisco Retirement system is most efficient system in the nation and over 100 percent funded. Why Adachi is trying to sneak in pension reform under the guise of Health Care should tell you this is political. think about it

Posted by guest on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 8:10 am

Too many hidden facts in this Prposition B, and it does not solve the city budget problem. The real issue is to change the whole city structure to get rid of those lazy emplyees and keep those good workers. I was working in the private companies for many years and since I have worked for the city for fifteen years, I found out it have too much bureaucracy problems in the management levels, but we also have many diligent good employees in my section although few bad apples do exist, but this proposition will also punish good hard working people's benefits, and it may impact the public service in the future. I saw too much waste in the management level. For example, all departemnts are encouraged to spend all mony in the fisical year even they do not need to buy so many equipments and city trucks or cars. The city is too fat and should lay off more lazy employees like any industrial compnay instead of punishing of good employees. However, this city has too many politicans and play too much dirty politics which inclde this proposition author,a rich former public defender Jeff Adachi, if he is so concern about economy and city people's of the San Francisco, he can easily donate his 50% of his money to help us but create more problems. this proposition B will not cure the disease but will generate more side effects.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

I have no sympathy for the city employees including the teachers. They have the best gig out there and everyone I have worked with is lazy and rude. The entitlement mentality in this city is over the top. Voting yes on Prop B.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

If teachers have the best gig, why not become one? Oh, I bet its because you'd have no idea how to handle 30, 12-year olds let alone teach them anything.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

It's too bad you are taking this attitude. I am sorry some rotten apples have spoiled your outlook of public employees.
I am a gardener, I work really hard to keep your parks safe and clean. I make almost $59,000/yr. and I have Kaiser wth deductibles etc.
If Prop. B passes I don't think I'll be able to keep my family here where my wife and I were born. We hope to raise our new daughter here.
Again, I am sorry for your experience with folks out there, but we are not all bad.
See you in the parks. I hope.

Posted by Dylan on Sep. 26, 2010 @ 10:15 am

I am a single mom and SF employee. This year we have given back 5.625 of our salaries which is a chunk of my paycheck. I live from paycheck to paycheck and can not afford to pay more, so therefore I will have to stop paying for insurance for my children. Where will they go if they have a medical emergency. The ER. Who will have to pay for that treatment, the taxpayers of SF. I want people to also understand that as employees we spend most of our income in SF. Supporting small business, buying lunch, coffee, our furniture, and our clothing etc. What happens if this workforce no longer has any extra income at all. Who will be hurt too. All those small businesses. Where is the savings? Why does Moritz the billionaire care. Could it be he thinks there will be more money for the upper echelon of SF. There certainly will be less for the working person and small businesses. And certainly less city taxes collected from small business. Think about the real economics of this. Once again it is the stealth millionaires and billionaires getting the average person is SF to vote against their own interest and do the bidding of the ubber wealthy.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

..."Why does Moritz the billionaire care?"

A google search reveals the answer, Mr. Moritz as quoted in the NYT:

"Wages, benefits and pensions for city employees far outstrip the protections afforded to hundreds of thousands of hard-working San Franciscans,” Mr. Moritz said via e-mail. “San Francisco’s self-employed, restaurant workers, janitors, carpenters, small merchants, house cleaners and freelancers who work every bit as hard as city employees but do not enjoy similar pension or health care benefits now face the further indignity of watching vital civic services get axed in order to meet these obligations. It’s not right, fair or reasonable.”

He is precisely correct.

Yes on B.

Posted by Seej on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

so instead of spending his money to improve the "protections afforded to hundreds of thousands of hard-working San Franciscans" he'd rather screw public employees. how about raising standards for all these "self-employed, restaurant workers, janitors, carpenters, small merchants, house cleaners and freelancers" you arrogant rich fuck

Posted by Guest on Sep. 23, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

hey watch your fucking language

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

Moritz's agenda is more likely that for stripping benefits from public workers so that he and his billionaire CEO friends won't be expected to provide benefits to the employees of the companies he funds. Instead of having private-sector employees mobilize to demand better benefits, he pits them against public employees, using jealousy and bitterness to divide. ("If I can't have it, nobody should," seems to be Prop B supporters mantra, especially Seej) When another, better response could have been, "If they have it, so should we." Why doesn't Moritz fight to reform private business by encouraging business owners to provide access to health care and matching funds for pensions? Why, the answer is obvious, because he'd only have $40 billion instead of $45 billion, and that would cut into his lifestyle too much.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

I wonder how much money Mr. MOritz is hiding in off shore accounts to avoid paying taxes. I m sure he is hiding his money like all the other arrogant rich people who know how to scam the government. what goes around comes around mr moritz

Posted by guest on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 8:14 am

The real problem with this Prop is that it is not on a sliding scale for contributions based on salary. I think most of the commentators would reach an agreement that reform would be acceptable if it did exist in the prop. Even so, why is it so outrageous that a city employee under the Prop with 2 OR MORE dependents pay 439 instead of 230 per month? Is that really ridiculous? City Taxpayers should not be subsidizing entire families just because one happens to be a public employee. Don't get me wrong, I wished for a public option but this is ridiculous.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 6:05 am

Your post is a little too rational for this board. With regard to the sliding scale, the pension reform is a sliding scale because it's a percentage of wages. With regard to the health side, the current premiums are not paid on a sliding scale (nor am I aware of any other companies doing this) so that would have been a huge change in the how the system operates/unintended consequences...

Posted by Seej on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 9:31 am

agreed, BUT if it applied to both, then the "you hate poor people that breed too much would be silenced" and the "you hate poor people" would be silenced...both into agreement.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 9:54 pm

Some of the employees will have to pay more like $750 or more for family care. Prop B's literature only uses the numbers for employees who have the lowest contributions to garner support. Benefits vary depending on your classification. I wish we (teachers) could pay as little as $439, but after our contributions went up to $950/month for Blue Shield, we switched to Kaiser and pay $623 now. Prop B would raise it to $750. This gets to be unaffordable for our income level. I agree with your intent though --if it were scaled or limited to those with salaries above $75 or $80, this proposition becomes less contentious. However, the authors didn't take the time to ensure they protect working families, although they purport to be fighting for the poor's "cut City services."

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

I have been looking at this for awhile, as a business person with a spouse employed by SFUSD for the last 10 years. Here's what I have now seen:

- husband makes less than $100k
- family of four pays now close $1000 OUT OF POCKET for an HMO option (not Kaiser) and Adachi wants to increase that??
- do note that as someone has worked in the private sector, the healthcare benefits are not better, in fact, they are actually worse.
- those costs have actually almost doubled from what they were a few years ago.
- the city worker plan is more expensive.
- kaiser now costs a family of four the same as the HMO.

How is that fair, and now we should pay more for less? It certainly seems that this prop is doing nothing but supporting the insurance companies' price gouging? Why are the costs for healthcare skyrocketing? Because of the insurance companies - what they charge and what they pay out.

Here's what a responsible business person would do - and SFUSD and the teacher's union should do: ask for a better deal. Or, take that money and put it into an interest bearing account and pay out-of-pocket with major medical on the side.

Posted by Alison on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 8:21 am

Way to sell the bullshit Tom! City employees have three options, but why bother with facts when you have sold out the poor and others in San Francisco who rely on the vital services being cut more and more .... TRUTH. http://www.thesweetmelissa.com/sweet_melissa/2010/09/prop-b-campaign-hea... has the TRUTH in numbers.

Posted by Jamie Whitaker on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 9:00 am

Health Insurance should have never been put on the table. Just like Biden argued with Maddow that health insurance was good and would not be made less crappy by the health insurance corporate welfare act, as he's never had to have real health insurance like we get as City dependents, most San Franciscans believe that health insurance is a bitch and that nobody wishes crappier insurance on their neighbors.

As far as pensions go, where are the investigations into the mismanagement of mayoral appointed pension boards over the past decade? Where was Jeff Adachi, Esq. when it came time for the enforcement of Prop H requiring cops and firefighters to make the pension fund whole?

Looking forward, pension contributions should be progressively scaled to match income level and should rise to a ceiling when the fund is draining, and drop to a floor when it is filling up.

Locking the City into fixed pension and health insurance numbers will result in the City becoming increasingly uncompetitive if the labor market ever recovers, but it seems that billionaire speculators like Moritz have no interest in a recovering labor market, to the contrary, Americans are a pesky annoyance in their goals of raking in even more money.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Sep. 24, 2010 @ 10:06 am

I'm a single parent and noone is mentioning that we just gave back almost 6% of our pay in July--2 months ago. Prop B would take another 9%, making it about a 15% cut, and have me pay about $260 a month more for my son's health care. (I have Kaiser which is the lowest costing plan). There's no way I could survive without getting a second job--and then I'll never see my son. This is anti-family and ant-family working in San Francisco. This is putting the burden of the high cost of health care onto the backs of working families alone. Big money paid Adachi to hire petition takers from outside the City to get the signatures. This is from big money and it's political. I believe San Francisco is better than that and will vote this down.

Posted by Guest JJ on Sep. 25, 2010 @ 8:36 am

Okay- well a couple of things...

I'd respectfully mention a couple of things maybe you might look into. The timing is important. Prop B is written so as to honor any existing MOU/collective bargaining agreements. Meaning, the Prop B health and pension contribution increases don't kick in until after your current collective bargaininng deal expires. So I am assuming your 6% reduction is in the form of a two-year furlough day deal. So Prop B contributions would not kick in until that deal expires. (That's not to say - furloughs could not be extended, who knows.)

Also, I'd double check the math on the 9%. The pension contribution increase from 7.5% to 9% is 1.5% of earnings. The Kaiser increase is $220 a month. The $220 a month increase is an increase of about $2,500 year and the combination of the two may not amount to 9% of your gross wages...

Not saying because of this you should vote for Prop B and I could be wrong on all this- but seems worth double-checking. Keep in mind ten of the eleven City of San Jose's public employee unions took direct pay and benefit cuts of 10% this year to address the same benefit cost problem.

Peace.

Posted by RBorBust on Sep. 25, 2010 @ 11:10 am

on free newspapers.

Anyone here in SF when the state implemented that tax will remember the Guardian with a charge of $.01 printed on it, while laying free all over the place. The Guardian used a "loop hole" to get around this tax. Sound familiar?

Every week the Guardian howled about how it was an attack on independent journalism, liberal values and every other complaint on the list.

A person can also recall that lately Pete Wilson has been considered a good republican for raising taxes back then by the Guardian. Just as long as its not the Guardian that gets the taxes, taxes should be "fairer."

Posted by matlock on Sep. 26, 2010 @ 10:53 am

I am a City Employee and am living paycheck to paycheck. It's already tough having to take the 5.7% paycut this year. We've done our part! It's not fair that we still have to give up more!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

I'm not...

It's embarrassing to look around this city we love so much and see how run down and dirty it is, compared the other leading destination cities in the world.

I hear tourists gasp when they mistakenly venture into the Tenderloin, mId-Market street and 6th Street areas.

Compare our delapidated old subway system to that of most developing nations and you won't see much difference.

Most City employees voluntarily took pay cuts as of July 1 and most City job vacancies that oocurred in the last 2 years remain unfilled due to departmental budget cuts.

So now you have less people, trying to carry the same workload, for less money.
And now, you want to come back to them and ask for more?
If I looked around this city and saw it sparkle like Vienna, I could imagine cutting around the edges some...

You think this City literally stinks now? Just wait until you hit the people that bathe and nurse this old city with a double whammy and see how they react. I know how I would. I'm just being realistic. Productivity could slow down to a crawl and management could not do a thing about it...

I understand that there is a fiscal problem, but I also know that Prop B is not the way to address it. Let City Hall open up the books and let's all take a good look at where we can make reasonable and substational cutbacks. Also, let's charge a $100 per year license to any person that comes into the City to work, but does not live here.

Jeff Adachi and his benefactors have no chance at this Prop passing or occupying room 200. Think outside the box...

Posted by Proud to try and make this place just a lil' better on Sep. 27, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

I'm not...

It's embarrassing to look around this city we love so much and see how run down and dirty it is, compared the other leading destination cities in the world.

I hear tourists gasp when they mistakenly venture into the Tenderloin, mId-Market street and 6th Street areas.

Compare our delapidated old subway system to that of most developing nations and you won't see much difference.

Most City employees voluntarily took pay cuts as of July 1 and most City job vacancies that oocurred in the last 2 years remain unfilled due to departmental budget cuts.

So now you have less people, trying to carry the same workload, for less money.
And now, you want to come back to them and ask for more?
If I looked around this city and saw it sparkle like Vienna, I could imagine cutting around the edges some...

You think this City literally stinks now? Just wait until you hit the people that bathe and nurse this old city with a double whammy and see how they react. I know how I would. I'm just being realistic. Productivity could slow down to a crawl and management could not do a thing about it...

I understand that there is a fiscal problem, but I also know that Prop B is not the way to address it. Let City Hall open up the books and let's all take a good look at where we can make reasonable and substational cutbacks. Also, let's charge a $100 per year license to any person that comes into the City to work, but does not live here.

Jeff Adachi and his benefactors have no chance at this Prop passing or occupying room 200. Think outside the box...

Posted by Proud to try and make this place just a lil' better on Sep. 27, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

Prop. B is very bad for San Francisco. If Prop. B go through, San Francisco will lose $23 million from the Federal Funding. Please think about it. Where are the $23 Million go? Are these money going the the High Politician's group and let them spending on what they want.

Posted by Guest Creater on Sep. 28, 2010 @ 8:53 am

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