New Jersey: The health benefits debate

The Oliver proposal is the best at this point. It addresses the emergency, it will restore the collective bargaining rights of workers but will shift the baseline from which negotiations will start at a future date. It provides the remedy for the arduous task of negotiating benefits payments in thousands of labor contracts (thanks to home rule and the political fragmentation of the government in New Jersey) and does not send labor relations back to the early 1900’s.

I believe benefits should be a negotiable item but I am looking at this situation as a sort of “temporary financial martial law” to palliate a crisis and then go back to normality, which is negotiations.

I would start at this very moment to look at the health care costs in the state and finding ways to reduce them. That would include limiting malpractice awards in some form and even creating a public health system to compete with the insurance companies and force their rates down, if they prove to be unreasonable. It is most likely that I will follow this course of action if elected governor of New Jersey in 2013.

Limiting medical malpractice awards is proposal # 15 in my political program page.

Again, I think these are extraordinary circumstances – regardless of the fact that it was the two political parties in power which failed to fund everything. They even misled investors. It is tragic but we must deal with it now or it will be even worse later on.

I support the Oliver plan as the fairest of everything that is on the table at this moment..