Up for Debate: Metro Council's subsidized health care

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 11:07pm

Councilman Carter Todd has a bill headed to the council — in the midst of votes on a property tax increase — that proposes to end the practice of subsidizing council members' health care benefits for life, something he says costs Metro taxpayers about $300,000 a year. Todd says he doesn't believe the bill will pass. Do you think it should pass or is that a benefit council members should receive? Do you think it has a chance of a passing?

 

35 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 5/31/12 at 12:23

Serving as an elected member of any government position is not a job to work toward retirement on, be it local, county, state or federal.

No "benefits" should be given as a reward for part time service.

By: dargent7 on 5/31/12 at 5:22

"Health care benefits for life..." has a nice ring to it, but these guys aren't SCOTUS members.
No.

By: slacker on 5/31/12 at 7:33

Nashville council members are term limited. Any perk of the office, should end when their last term ends.

By: govskeptic on 5/31/12 at 7:34

This benefit is unconsciousness no matter the state of the economy for
a group that have term limits of 8 yrs. Originally one had to serve the 8
yrs, but thanks to Councilman at Large Tygard, in order to help out former
Councilman Dread, it was dropped to a much shorter time of service!
The pay was raised to that of a State Representative some yrs ago, and
immediately afterwards they took off with adding benefits as well!

Councilman Todd's bill should be passed, but will do so only if the
voters of this county demand it from their beloved Council members
and even promise to support opponents that may promise repeal.
These type of "extras" are what puts city and states behind the 8 ball
in debt often unfunded for years until it becomes a crises!

By: JohnGalt on 5/31/12 at 8:00

I wish the benefit would result in "unconscionsness", skeptic.

But I think the word for which you were searching is unconscionable. And, I agree. Let 'em keep the coverage if they pay the full premium and cut it off if they get jobs where health insurance is offered or reach Medicare eligibility.

By: budlight on 5/31/12 at 8:18

JohnGalt on 5/31/12 at 8:00
I wish the benefit would result in "unconscionsness", skeptic. But I think the word for which you were searching is unconscionable. And, I agree. Let 'em keep the coverage if they pay the full premium and cut it off if they get jobs where health insurance is offered or reach Medicare eligibility.

Mr. Galt, that means that if a person is 35 and stay on the council 8 years, they would still be getting coverage from age 43 to retirement possibly. Why should the city have to keep them on the policy at all. They should get their own private insurance or as you said get a job where health care is covered. Most companies that insure you will drop you when you quit, get fired or leave for any reason. They give you COBRA at a high price for a few months, but they don't let you stay on their policy even if you pay it. So why should the Metro Council be any different? It should not. It is an added risk if a person stays on it longer than their council term. We are paying for a policy that covers existing council members holding a seat and council members who are not holding a seat. That's not good business sense.

Oh, it's Nashville Metro Council. Now I understand why we are doing it!

By: BenDover on 5/31/12 at 8:20

Just like all the other defined benefits and pensions, everyone who entered into it under the old way should be grandfathered but to continue to offer these unsustainable benefits to new workers is insane.

Our underfunded medical and pension liabilities for government defined benefit retirees is the real cloud looming over our heads. Unless it is curtailed with something more realistic, default and bankruptcy are inevitable for most municipality and state governments in this country.

By: Rasputin72 on 5/31/12 at 8:28

There are days and sometimes weeks and months when I question whether or not when anything seems right and correct about the way this city and state and national government operates.

I think these things and the divisive and cultural differences in this country are a prelude to something as big as WWII and the American Civil war.

By: govskeptic on 5/31/12 at 8:32

This is a benefit that absolutely needs true numbers run by the Finance
Dept and made public. Since it's a life time one, the numbers increase
not just on the increase in health care premiums but with the addition
of members each election when there's turnover in the Council. Today's
cost will be pale versus the numbers in just a few more years!

By: budlight on 5/31/12 at 8:34

This story is a good "belly laugh" story. Maybe these two guys should come to Nashville and run for council - but not from my district. LOL

"BOSTON (AP) — Authorities say winning hundreds of thousands of dollars in the state lottery wasn't enough for two Massachusetts men.

They also allegedly collected welfare benefits at the same time. State Auditor Suzanne Bump says both men face larceny charges. Her office alleges James Casey Jr. of Waltham did not tell welfare officials that he has won more than $700,000 while he was collecting more than $12,000 in state health benefits and more than $1,500 in food stamps.

Authorities say Frank Basile of Belmont collected more than $17,000 in state health benefits during the time he won $316,000 on the lottery. Basile tells The Boston Globe ( b.globe.com/LMqkXW) the charges are "a mistake" because his gambling losses are higher than his winnings. Casey could not be reached. Their arraignments have not been scheduled."

I guess cause his "gambling losses are higher than his winnings" we can excuse him. NOT!

By: yogiman on 5/31/12 at 9:14

Politics is politics. Two good political shows:

www.westernjournalism.com/dozens-of-articles-now-confirming-Obama-born-in-kenya/ ...and
www.westernjournalism.com/how-much-do-americans-really-know-about-obama/

Enjoy!

By: Beernazi on 5/31/12 at 9:28

Sorry, but Western Journalism isn't a viable source. It is a rather shady organization.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Journalism_Center

By: bfra on 5/31/12 at 9:40

BN - Now be nice! lol yogi stays up all night searching hate Obama web sites. His lunacy at one time was funny, now it is just obnoxious.

By: slacker on 5/31/12 at 10:01

The council members should vote down this tax drain. They are all now safely protected under the Obamacare umbrella. No worries.

By: yogiman on 5/31/12 at 10:04

Facts are facts, children. I hope I'm around when the facts are thrown so hard at you, you finally understand who that guy [you don't know] is in the Oval Office.

Ever wonder why the former governor of NY (who is a black American) raises the question on Obama's natural born status citizenship?

By: brrrrk on 5/31/12 at 10:07

Beernazi said

"Sorry, but Western Journalism isn't a viable source. It is a rather shady organization.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Journalism_Center"

Being the parent of WND I'd have to agree.....

By: bfra on 5/31/12 at 10:07

In my day, ever wonder, why do you think, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, now when I was younger. Guess who?

By: slacker on 5/31/12 at 10:26

yogi, a spoonful of sugar helps the lithium go down.

By: yogiman on 5/31/12 at 10:36

OK, kids, I'm sure you can explain why the black governor from NY (David Paterson) questions Obama's legality.

I'm also sure you can explain why Artur Davis, a strong Democrat who was Obama's biggest fund raiser has decided to leave the Democrat party. Could it be any reason other than the head of the party?

And if you have a camera on your cell phone, I suggest you go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2vRzvWxwY/ to see if you are throwing your information out in the wind .

By: yogiman on 5/31/12 at 10:39

I'm sweet enough, slacker. I haven't needed sugar for my sweetness taste since I was a kid...
like you.

By: yogiman on 5/31/12 at 10:45

Oh, by the way, slacker, how do you know sugar makes swallowing lithium so easy?

Have fun today, kids. I'll leave you alone in your playroom. I hate to see kids become so disappointed in their playroom when they learn things they thought they knew then found out they didn't.

They often cry too hard and I don't want to cry for them.

By: budlight on 5/31/12 at 11:01

Children, stop fighting.

Yogi, Many other Democrats are retreating to the Republican party. Makes me wonder. Are they just infiltrating? LOL Probably just seeing the "light" and going back to their own roots.

Gay Marriage and abortion are his down fall. Me thinks he does under estimates\ the moral man! Or just disregards the moral man entirely!

By: brrrrk on 5/31/12 at 11:11

budlight said

"Yogi, Many other Democrats are retreating to the Republican party."

I don't know what you're smoking, but for sure it's either prescription or illegal....

And by the way, "roots" is an interesting choice of words.

By: bfra on 5/31/12 at 1:02

Off subject, but thought the backyard chicken lovers should read this:

http://news.yahoo.com/hundreds-salmonella-cases-tied-chicks-214240252.html

By: brrrrk on 5/31/12 at 1:19

bfra said

"Off subject, but thought the backyard chicken lovers should read this:

http://news.yahoo.com/hundreds-salmonella-cases-tied-chicks-214240252.html"

Yum, salmonella......

By: Beernazi on 5/31/12 at 1:25

oh don't get me started on the dang chickens.....lol!

By: slacker on 5/31/12 at 1:50

''A Dingo ate my chicken''

By: brrrrk on 5/31/12 at 2:16

slacker said

''A Dingo ate my chicken''

And died from salmonella.....

By: bfra on 5/31/12 at 2:16

slacker - That dingo sure had traveled a long way!

By: slacker on 5/31/12 at 3:33

bfra, I never thought the chicken beak err.. bill, would even be introduced to the council.
It was, and passed, just like Deans subsidizing chickens*** tax hike will also pass. One of the new chicken-in-the-back-yard crowd, will probably attempt to get their pet hog ''Skippy'' permission to live in their garage.

By: bfra on 5/31/12 at 3:54

slacker - I want a goat for keeping the lawn trimmed. Wonder if Dean will subsidize that?

By: bfra on 5/31/12 at 3:56

That chicken bill was par for the course, for our circus clown councilpeople! If anyone thinks they are going to vote down any of their freebies, think again.

By: slacker on 5/31/12 at 4:09

bfra, of course. Very important to keep the lawn trimmed.

By: brrrrk on 5/31/12 at 4:25

This just seemed appropriate under the circumstances....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSZSxyCtF1M

By: slacker on 5/31/12 at 4:34

brrrrk, very appropriate.