2011 SEBAC Agreement revised: CVS Caremark privacy violations and more bad news

 

 

 

http://alarmedaboutcvscaremark.org/index.php?id=52

Why We’re Alarmed About CVS Caremark

Connecticut State Employees…it’s like SustiNet, but it’s not, but it sort of is, with a different name

Here’s the latest on the proposed State employee health care plan that will also allow the joining in by nonprofits and municipalities.   According  of the article…a public option is and is not planned….may or may not happen….you try figure it out!

http://www.ctmirror.org/story/12743/sustinet-compromise-bill-passes-house

                                              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Connecticut-Center-for-a-New-Economy/27935807063

http://www.ctneweconomy.org/

and the associated bill hB 6308 called: AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE CONNECTICUT HEALTHCARE PARTNERSHIPhttp://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/TOB/H/2011HB-06308-R06-HB.htm

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/FC/2011HB-06308-R000868-FC.htm

2011 SEBAC Agreement:Connecticut State Employees, take your medicine like good patients!

 
If  the proposed health insurance  “plan”  is run  like the SEBAC talks, Agreement formation , and lack of transparency …..it might  look and sound, and result in  something like this:
 
“You’ll take your medicine as we prescribe, under our watchful management…we think it’s the best treatment for you….trust us …only we know what’s best for you.
                                       If you don’t  comply,
the consequences will be  “unimaginable” ( Dan Malloy’s word)
 
What happened to collective bargaining?
 
State employees….”see the forest for the trees” here. While “the devil is usually in the details”, this time it’s  the “elephant in the living room” !
 
 
 
 
 

2011 SEBAC Agreement…bypassing collective bargaining???????

coax $1 billion from labor?

March 22, 2011

By Mark Pazniokas  http://www.ctmirror.org/story/11934/malloys-negotiator-can-friend-coax-1-billion-labor

Mark Ojakian threw back his head and laughed when asked how he became point man for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s efforts to wring $1 billion from state employees. “I don’t know,” Ojakian said. “I kept saying to the governor, ‘I thought you liked me.’ ”

Most people do, in fact, seem to like Ojakian, a fixture in state government and politics for 31 years, whether it’s his opposite number in the unions or a Republican legislator who says Malloy has chosen a negotiator without “an ounce of animus.”

“I always say it’s a long life in a small state,” Ojakian said. “You need to remember that in your dealings with people.”

Ojakian is negotiating with old allies from an ever-shifting, never-ending series of campaigns for Democratic friends and progressive issues, including gay marriage and health reform. He says he can promise them only straightforward conversation about what Malloy concedes is “a big ask.”

In the 57-year-old Ojakian, who was deputy comptroller for Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman’s entire 16 years as comptroller, the Malloy administration has given a seemingly impossible task to a career public employee with a reputation for lowering the temperature in heated discussions.

“Mark was obvious in my mind. I just think it was a great fit,” said Benjamin Barnes, the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, which oversees budget and labor issues. “Mark has a really novel ability to get people to agree and bring them together.”

Barnes, who held top financial and operational posts in Stamford while Malloy was mayor, hired Ojakian as his deputy at OPM, giving him the services of a state government insider experienced in dealing with the legislature and bureaucracy.

Ojakian comes to the post with a deep background in public policy issues in and out of state government – he also was the chairman of the Hartford Housing Authority – but no experience in leading a major labor negotiation.

Ojakian is sitting across the table from a team led by Daniel Livingston, the experienced chief negotiator for the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition. They have known each other for years.

“I don’t know whether it’s harder or easier” to negotiate with old friends, Ojakian said. “I think I approach from a sense of respect for labor and the positive work that the unions have done.”

Respect is nice, but the administration is relying on concession and labor savings to erase nearly one-third of an estimate $3.2 billion deficit.  The $1 billion sought from labor is nearly 20 percent of the $5.4 billion the state now spends on wages and benefits. Apportioned among 46,000 state employees, $1 billion comes to more than $20,000 each.

“I don’t live in a dream world where I think we’re all going to sit around the table at the end without having some very difficult conversations that might not be as civil as they are right now,” Ojakian said. “I don’t have any illusions where the process may go.”

Observing the ground rules of the administration’s talks with labor, Ojakian is sharing little about the demands, other than saying not all the savings would come from wages and benefits. But he assures two things: the administration has a list of specific savings, and they do add up to $1 billion.

“There seems to be a sense that number was just thrown in there to fill a hole,” Ojakian said. “And actually it was not. There is a way to achieve a billion dollars. So, I don’t want anybody to think that’s a false number or that number cannot be achieved through a variety of savings, ideas and concessions. It can be.”

Technically, the talks are not collective bargaining. The unions have not taken the formal step of reopening any contracts, including 20-year deal on health and pension benefits reached with the administration of Gov. John G. Rowland in 1997.

If they had reopened a contract and begun formal collective bargaining, an impasse would automatically lead to binding arbitration. With these talks, failure would lead, in Malloy’s words, to “unimaginable consequences” of massive layoffs and cutbacks in state services.

The political context for these talks is far different than the unions’ white-hot battles with Rowland. In 2003, the unions filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing the Republican governor of ordering 3,000 layoffs in 2003 to punish defiant workers, not close a $650 million deficit.

In Malloy, the unions are dealing with the administration of a Democrat they helped elect by just half a percentage point last fall, giving Connecticut its first Democratic governor in 20 years. They realize a failure to resolve the concession talks would badly wound the new administration.

But many at the Capitol are openly skeptical that the talks can produce $1 billion in savings in each of the next two years.

While Ojakian comes to the task with no major experience in labor talks, he is leading a team that includes Linda Yelmini, the state’s director of labor relations.

His entrée to Malloy is Wyman. His friend and old boss laughs at the idea that her former deputy, who has interacted with legislators for three decades, is new to the art of negotiation.

“You’re always negotiating, wherever you go,” said Wyman, a former legislator. “You’re always negotiating. Everything you talk about here is negotiation in one way or another.”

Wyman met Ojakian in the early 1980s she was a legislative aide and he was a researcher and analyst with the non-partisan Office of Legislative Research.

“He’s a down to earth person, and he’s come up through the ranks,” Wyman said.

Ojakian, who grew up in West Hartford, graduated from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., then earned a graduate degree in international relations at American University in Washington D.C. He was working as a waiter at Carbone’s Restaurant in February 1980 when he was hired by the Office of Legislative Research.

To begin his career as a public employee, Ojakian took a pay cut. He continued to moonlight on weeks at Carbone’s for six months.

By the time Wyman was a state representative serving as co-chairwoman of the Education Committee, Ojakian was managing government affairs for the state Board of Higher Education.

In 1994, when Wyman decided to run for the statewide office of comptroller, Ojakian was struggling with the death of his partner in a car accident. She suggested he volunteer as a distraction.

“One day turned into two days turned into three days, then turned into every day,” Ojakian said. “It quickly became her and I on the road together.”

To celebrate her victory and to thank Ojakian for his help, Wyman offered to take Ojakian to dinner on the eve of her swearing in. He chose Carbone’s, the restaurant where he had waited on dozens of political figures.

Wyman said Ojakian was her obvious choice as deputy. When she became Malloy’s running mate, Ojakian joined the campaign as well. He became Barnes’ deputy with Malloy’s support.

And now Ojakian is handling one of the administration’s toughest jobs

“The trust I felt in Mark, I think the governor felt the same,” Wyman said. “He has the ability to talk, understanding this is not an all out war, that we have a problem to deal with, and how do we find the best solution for it.”

He has maybe a month or two to get to yes. Malloy is pushing to resolve the budget in May, and the legislature has no intention of approving a spending plan with $1 billion in to-be-named labor savings.

“I’m hopeful we re going to be able to work through this without a lot of rancor, I guess,” Ojakian said. “Is that optimistic? Maybe.”

see also

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2010/rpt/2010-R-0127.htm

 http://www.ilofip.org/GPGs/Collective%20Bargaining.pdf

2011 SEBAC Agreement and Possible “Conflicts of Interest” of union negotiators

More interesting information Connecticut State Employees may not know.

I’m not sure how the negotiations could have been considered to be “performed in good faith”  and truly on the behalf of State Employees when at least two negotiators have what I see conflcits of interest directly tied to their Positions on Boards of Directors and their positions in negotiations for Ct. State employees. (Whether these are legal conflicts of interest I’m not sure.)

The first is  Sal Luciano, president of Afscme, Council 4, who also sits on the Board of Directors of SustiNet

http://www.raisinghale.com/2011/05/09/two-union-negotiators-earn-as-much-as-malloy/

and the second (more important) …

it would appear that the Head Negotiator, Dan Livingston is on the Board of Directors of  CHART (Connecticut Health Advancement and Research Trust)  of Connecticut

“CHART was created in 1999 as a result of the settlement of a lawsuit brought against the for-profit Anthem Insurance Co. during its merger with the non-profit Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Connecticut. The settlement also required the creation of a second, separate foundation, The Anthem Foundation of Connecticut, Inc. (now Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut). The purpose of the Foundation is to support CHART’s mission, principally by making grants that will further the goals established by CHART.

“CHART is a research, development and education organization that hosts forums on various issues related to health care policy in Connecticut. Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, Inc., supports CHART’s mission by making grants, developing public policy and supporting research to further the vision of quality, affordable health care for all Connecticut residents.”

 

Together with Universal Health Care Foundation, CHART has changed the debate from whether universal health care is possible, to how to achieve the quality, affordable health care system that is best for Connecticut.

 

Meet the CHART Board of Directors

http://www.universalhealthct.org/about-board.php

http://www.universalhealthct.org/publications.php

also associated with sustinet Kevin lembo and Nancy Wyman who are listed as co-chairs of SustiNet
 
and Bob Rinker
 This is a very long report but well worth a scan (on page 49 you’ll find a letter regarding Healthcare System Change by Executive director of CSEA SEIU Bob Rinker).
sites  also of interest
 
 
 
 

Sebac 2011 Agreement voting theme song

To the tune of HiHo, HiHo

hell no, hell no… it’s off to vote we go
hey silly clowns
we’ll vote this down
hell no,
we’ll vote no, vote no, vote no!

SEBAC Agreement 2011: 2 billion dollar giveback revealing itself Connecticut State Employees ???

Is the  2 Billion dollar amount State employees are being asked to giveback really only a deficit due to the implementation of SustiNet???

SustiNet not in Gov. Malloy’s original budget http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/malloy_administration_moves_forward_with_exchanges/

from the article by Christine Stuart | Feb 25, 2011

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said that he considers SustiNet, the state’s best shot at a public health insurance option, a legislative initiative. Because he views it as such he didn’t include it in his budget, which has some health care advocates wondering exactly where his administration will come down on that proposal and possibly federal health care reform.

and the request from Ct. Unions for $2 billion on givebacks….

http://www.yankeeinstitute.org/2010/03/obamacare-for-ct-to-bust-budget/

HARTFORD – The Connecticut version of Obamacare called SustiNet could add more than $2 billion in new annual spending to the state budget with no means to pay for it, a new study by the Yankee Institute finds.

Dr. SustiNet’s Prescription for Big Government Healthcare” rings the alarm about how much the ambitious government-driven heath care plan passed over Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s veto in 2009 is likely to cost Connecticut taxpayers. The report finds SustiNet’s backers significantly overstated the number of uninsured in Connecticut, dramatically understated the likely costs of SustiNet, and ignored many of the effort’s likely negative side effects.

Highlights of the report:

• Connecticut spends $4.1 billion a year on its existing taxpayer-funded state health care
programs, including Medicaid and three state health insurance programs
• SustiNet will cost Connecticut taxpayers at least $2 billion more in new, annual government
spending
• 90 percent of Connecticut residents have insurance coverage.
• Of the 343,000 people who do not have health insurance, most are either eligible for existing
government-sponsored health insurance programs, can afford some form of health insurance and choose to forego it, or are only temporarily without coverage.
• SustiNet underestimates the cost of expanding the HUSKY program; understates the cost of subsidizing insurance; ignores the tendency of taxpayer-subsidized insurance plans to cause those with existing private insurance to switch to government plans; and ignores “adverse selection,” by which new enrollees have higher medical expenses than current enrollees.
• SustiNet’s unpleasant side effects will include higher taxes, reduced employment, longer waits, higher costs, fewer choices, and rationing.

“Connecticut residents who are worried about the big government health care bills being debated in Washington should be just as concerned about SustiNet,” said Fergus Cullen, executive director of the Yankee Institute

Malloy Administration to pitch the Media Friday regarding the SEBAC deal and Connecticut State Employees

Malloy Administration to sell the SEBAC deal to the media Friday

http://blog.ctnews.com/politicalcapitol/2011/05/18/malloy-administration-hoping-to-better-explain-sebac-deal-to-media/#comment-9691

Be Aware for what you hear and see this weekend on TV and in the newspaper! The media will be in a feeding frenzy and will publish just about any sales point the Adiminstration wants them to.

From the Article  “We knew there was going to be a lot of misinformation out there and things would be written that were incorrect,” Occhiogrosso said. “Some of you guys are confused, and rightfully so. It’s a complex agreement. ”

Telling others they are confused and that things are complex  is a common a manipulation known as “gaslighting” According to Robin Stern “Gaslighting is the systematic attempt by one person to erode another’s reality. This is done by telling them that what they are experiencing isn’t so – and, the gradual giving up on the part of the other person.” from http://lauriekendrick.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/the-sad-art-of-gaslighting/ 

Remember 1.there is no Value Based Insurance plan that exists on paper with Anthem or United/Oxford

2. The Value Based insurance plan (the plan yet to be created as noted in the framework) is the start of socialized healthcare in Ct….oops sorry …mean “universal health care”. If the State Employee Plan is opened to non profits and municipalities, it will follow shortly thereafter that it will become “The Public Option”….aka. socialized healthcare …aka Universal health care…and it’s costs will initially be funded directly  by State Employees…read up on the former” Sustinet Plan” for details. Iwrote about it a few months ago in this blog:  https://wisdomovertime.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/will-we-see-sustinet-in-ct-sooner-than-later-state-employees-take-notice-of-this/   There you will also find also find links to the plan …I’ll call it the ” plan formerly known as Sustinet” as it has maintained it’s structure, but moderated to a “slower” implentation to the public.

3. Current contracts with Anthem and United/Oxford expire  July 1, 2012 , as stated in the original framework letter… and ONLY until then….there are no guarantees your provider or insurance company will remain the same after that…regardless of what you are told.

4. Voting No means you keep the exact insurance plan you have until it is renegotiated for July 1,2012. when most union contracts are up to be renewed. No fines or penalties!

also see these blog enteries

https://wisdomovertime. these blog enterieswordpress.com/2011/05/18/1246/

https://wisdomovertime.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/full-disclosure-needed-by-ct-state-employees-on-health-plan-before-sebac-voting/

http://gov.cbia.com/inside_the_capitol/article/sustinet-name-lives-on-sans-public-option

Closer to the truth about the SEBAC Agreement for Connecticut State Employees

Getting closer to the truth about the State Employee Concessions Agreement and one part of what we’re voting for????Read the below links…this is interesting,.educational and enlightening for the Taxpaying private sector and State Employees (who are Taxpayers, also! ) Wish I had seen these when they were originally published!
 
 
 
 
 
So it would seem that Governor Malloy wants to change State employee insurance so non profits can “buy in” at a more affordable rate…but not the public sector. Could explain the hard line stance on “compliance” in the union framework, as a healthy group of people would be needed to offset the expenses and claims of those not so. I would sure hope that those non profits proposing to”buy in” would be held to the same standards and premium penalties for non compliance as they would be asking State Employees to maintain, and be forced to sign a compliance agreement as well!
….and State Employees are being “threatened” with layoffs, punitive fines for non compliance,  and the public is being ” threatened” with cuts to programs and reduced state services ….all so this can occur?!
 
Doesn’t the State Employees Campaign for Charitable Giving already exist?
 
 (A reminder too that non profits do not pay taxes)
 
Are our benefits truly  “unsustainable”  or are they ” unsustainable ” in light of this proposed buy in, and the future public option?
 
Of course the 2017 agreement would need to be opened first…to allow any of this to take place….and I am hearing more and more “NO’s” everyday….mostly “NO’s” at this point.
 
VOTE NO! … if only for the displayed lack of transparency and dishonesty of this process by the Union Leaders  and the Malloy administration !
 
To SteveHC…. I don’t approve the comments of “online Trolls”…

Connecticut State employees need full disclosure on the SEBAC agreement before voting

Yes and No Voters…There is not a health plan that has been “created” yet  …  read the framework agreement.
 If you call Anthem Insurance (as I did today) they will tell you there is no “value added” or “value based” program for State Employees to send you information about. This agreement allows the Malloy administration and Union leaders to “create” whatever they want. If you vote yes… you are voting for something that does not exist yet….there is no  plan ….only a concept! This plan could end up costing you thousands “out of pocket” and you are not being told that!
 
 
Can you answer these questions based on the info you have been provided in the framework?
 
Is your family covered? or only the State Employee? If so, are they also required to sign a binding “commitment contract” and comply? How much does it cost per family member? Are family members held to the same standards as employees?
What is the cost for a family plan where the employee decides for the opt out and pay the $100 fee instead of the joining the compliance plan? Is it $100 for each family member?
Other than preventive care….what is covered?
What is the reimbursement rate and how much are the co-pays for diagnostics not related to preventive care?
Do they pay for MRI’s or Ultrasounds…what is your share?
Surgery room expenses?
Would they pay for a  needed knee replacement or tell you that what you get is a cane and pain meds?
Do they pay for psychotherapy or are you required to take psych meds instead….or would you be forced to take them to comply with the health management team?
Will your children/family members be mandated to take “needed” vaccinations because your Doctor recommends them as part of their health care plan( ie . will your daughter be forced to receive the Guardasil Vaccine which still is being studied for it’s long term effects?
Define non-compliance with the plan completely.
 
These questions need to be answered before the vote is taken. “Value Added” and “Value Based” Healthcare is a whole different concept than what you are used to dealing with! Call the number on your insurance card  and ask the representative  for information for the announced “State Employees Value Added plan”
As I was told earlier today…they have no information about it, yet this plan is supposed to start up July 1, 2011….???
 
We do not have enough info to vote on this package!