Senator Michael Testa today blasted the Murphy Administration for hiding warning signs that the cost of the state’s health insurance plans for public employees could soon skyrocket.
Sen. Michael Testa today blasted the Murphy Administration for hiding warning signs that the cost of the state’s health insurance plans for public employees could soon skyrocket. (Pixabay)
Press reports this week indicate the Administration knew as early as this February that as medical claims increased significantly in 2021, the result was that a massive escalation of premium costs this year would be required of both covered employees and the governments which employ them.
“The Governor and his advisors have some explaining to do,” said Testa (R-1). “These important indicators were hidden from the Legislature and the public during the budget process which resulted in the $50 billion budget signed by Murphy in late June. Why would they sit on this devastating news, robbing local and county governments of the opportunity to plan for exploding costs as they crafted their budgets?
“Murphy’s secrets have caused nothing but harm for New Jerseyans. This is going to lead to property tax increases, jobs losses and service reductions in communities across the state,” Testa continued.
And the situation could get worse. There is growing concern that increasing costs could result in local governments dropping out of the State Health Benefits Program, which could trigger more upward pressure on rates.
Last month, Testa issued a press release questioning the Governor’s lack of transparency regarding the soaring costs and the impact they will have on taxpayers and municipal governments.
“The state was well aware premiums were about to go through the roof, but they kept it under wraps,” Testa said. “Now it has become clear they were motivated by politics at the expense of fiscal policy. Instead of working for our residents, Murphy’s Trenton has a different set of priorities.”