Massachusetts Treasurer Steve Grossman and Gov. Deval Patrick
Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray's announcement that he won't be running for governor, "leaves," according to David Nir, "state Treasurer Steve Grossman as the most prominent potential candidate." In light of that, it's worth looking at Grossman's view of a plan to cut retiree health care
for public workers in Massachusetts. The plan, backed by leaders of several major unions in the state (who will presumably be hearing from their members, because seriously), would make public employees work 20 years to be eligible for retiree health care, rather than the current 10 years, and:
Currently, most state and local workers pay 20 percent of their premiums if they have worked for 10 years on the job. Under the governor’s plan, they will have to pay 50 percent of their premiums if they retire after 20 years of service. Only after 30 years of service will the government pick up 80 percent of their premiums, leaving them with 20 percent of the cost.
Paying a larger percent of their premiums is one thing, but moving the bar from 10 years to 20 years potentially screws workers who've been at their jobs for more than 10 years but less than 20 yet had the nerve to hope to retire with health care. But while we can debate the overall merits of the plan, Steve Grossman really can just bite me, because his take on this is that:
"This is exactly what the investor community wants to hear," he said. "It’s another element in a series of reforms that have been acheieved in the last several years."
The "investor community"? What, like the people having the conversations in the bathrooms at Davos
are excited about this? What about teachers and snowplow drivers and nurses and librarians in the Massachusetts
communities? Anyone whose interest lies in giving "the investor community" exactly what it wants to hear should stick to a job representing the investor community and not retirees. And that's not what the governor should be.