Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Tool Highlights Municipal Health Care Costs

In case you missed it, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation recently launched an interactive analysis of the potential financial impact of municipal health care reform on local cities and towns.

The community-by-community analysis of municipal health care reform helps illustrate the amount of savings that would have been achieved if the community joined GIC over the past ten fiscal years. In a press release, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said, “according to analysis, cities and towns in the state have sacrificed hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs in the last decade because local officials have had limited authority to manage their exploding growth in health insurance costs.”

The interactive analysis allows users to enter their city or town, as well as their Senate district, to view the potential cost savings and job growth by switching to the state run GIC or plan design. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation determined that “more than $3 billion in savings could have been achieved statewide had municipalities been granted plan design authority in 2001, equivalent to approximately 6,500 municipal jobs statewide (at $50,000 per job per year).”

In an economy where cities and towns are struggling to operate under a fiscally responsible budget, and jobs are hard to come by, this interactive tool is a sobering asset. It is our hope that this online resource is yet another tool in allowing resident to fully understand the financial impacts of municipal healthcare.