Editorial: Try and tell ESD employees new health law is affordable

Talk all we want about the financial impact of the Affordable Health Care Act, but until it hits home, talk sometimes is cheap. It’s too bad the same can’t be said for the cost of the insurance.

Thursday employees of the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District got a first hand lesson in economics regarding the new federal law when they heard their insurance policies could increase as much as $87 a month beginning in January. The increase is a result of taxes and fees from the legislation.

Thankfully, AMA ESD employees are governed by an administration and board who have their best interest at heart, and who wanted to cushion the impact of the financial blow to them. While contractually the employees would have been responsible for absorbing the increase, the AMA ESD board agreed Thursday to cover the costs for employees through June, when new contract negotiations will take place and the matter can be addressed then.

To put the increase into perspective, Assistant Superintendent Tony Suszek said the fees and taxes will cost the district $3,760 per month. Through June, it will cost the district an additional $19,000 that otherwise would have had to have come from employees.

For an employee with family coverage, the increase would amount to an extra $1,000 a year.

We don’t get it. Wasn’t the Affordable Health Care Act supposed to be just that – affordable? Wasn’t it supposed to drive down the cost of health insurance?

As everyone is quickly discovering, it was just one more empty promise from an administration that seems apt at confusing sparkle with substance.