Tag Archives: healthcare

Why SEBAC Can’t Read….

Just a few current-events type observations regarding the SEBAC 2011 drama…

First, if anyone followed the “sustinet” process back in the spring they would know that the creation of “sustinet” was thwarted, a commission to continue looking into possible efficiencies between public and private health insurance systems was created, and the only impact on SEBAC employee healthcare could have been that the State of Connecticut self-insurance system could have been accessible to people outside the state employee system.  Nobody was pushing State employees into someone’s program… but they may have been able to participate in ours.  BTW, to those state employees who have been in a cave for the past twenty years: private sector employees would crawl over barbed wire to get your health care package and low out of pocket costs.  The real world is knocking, and if you think you can hide behind the couch you are wrong.  The SEBAC 2011 deal would have let you keep your cushy helath care package for the next 11 years.  got it?  no?  too bad.  no cookie for you.

Second, bills to allow private sector and municipal workers to participate in the State’s self-insurance system come up almost every session, and at least every year.  This isn’t new, and it predates “Obamacare” by about a decade.  So shut the fuck up about “Obamacare” and SEBAC 2011 already…

Third… SEBAC has a communication problem, and they need to fix it.  Distributing the text of the draft tentative agreement, and final tentative agreement, and contract-specific tentative agreement, was all well and good.  It was all well and good back in the days of the mimeograph.  I am not a big fan of 21st century this and that… but this IS the 21st century. What SEBAC didn’t do was what anyone from a mom-and-pop operation to the United States Military Services do when they are trying to get a message across: break the agreement down into bite size chunks and make it simple… a PowerPoint type presentation might have made this a lot easier to grasp.  What SEBAC did was like the US Congress telling you to “read the damn Bill if you have any questions”.  Yes, the Q&A sessions were helpful, but that is a 60 minute event as opposed to the month that people had to engage in fear-mongering and misreading (both intentional and unintentional misreading).  Next, SEBAC needs to get their unions voting on a tight timeline with some real message control.  Letting one union’s vote tally go public a week before others unions cast a ballot is a massive failure of discipline and fairness.  Fix it, or resign and let adults take over.  Next, create a central clearing house email-address for inquiries about the deal, with official responses from the appropriate SEBAC delegate, and use the responses to update to a FAQ, and you have measurably increased accountability and transparency.  Those four “features” of clarity, fairness, accountability, and transparency, were, and still are, lacking in the SEBAC 2011 process.  Weeks after the official “no” vote we still have not heard directly from the leadership of the four dissenting unions… and if anyone believes that they don’t know what the problem was, they are delusional.

Last, Kevin Rennie should read before he blogs, and shut up about smoking guns until he actually has one.  All he was doing was serving up a post-vacation softball for his pal John Rowland to hit over the fence when he got back on the radio.  Rowland, like Rennie, cares less about facts now than he did when in office, which seems impossible, but there you have the proof.  Intentionally misreading things is becoming the “cat photo” of the right wing fear machine… the first time it is cute or dismissible as a dalliance, after that it says more about the lack of depth of the perpetrator than anything else.  AFSCME President Luciano was talking about opening access to the State self-insurance system, and how it was being confused with “sustinet”, which is just what Rennie did, and Rowland did, and most of the blithering idiot commenters on news feeds around the state continue to do… couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

SEBAC had better have a really great “second act” or this is gonna blow up in their face in a really bad way.