Tags: Economic- Crisis | Unions | Chris Christie | public employees | health benefits

Christie Says Employee Benefits Cuts Will Save $870 Million/Yr.

Monday, 18 Apr 2011 10:19 AM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to overhaul the state’s public employee health benefits system could save the Garden State more than $870 million a year by 2014, the Newark Star-Ledger reported Monday.

A state Treasury Department spokesman said the governor wants to gradually increase state employee health benefit contributions over three years, requiring them to pay 10 percent of premiums this July. That number would climb to 30 percent by July 2014. New workers would immediately pay 30 percent.

Chris Christie,public employees,health benefits
Chris Christie
“Our proposal provides real savings and reform,” said Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak.

Lawmakers should help the governor change “the unaffordable status quo that will leave the system still in peril,” Drewniak added.

Currently, state employees in New Jersey pay 1.5 percent of their salary toward their medical benefits.

Christie’s proposal also would involve tiered plans, increased co-pays and lengthening the eligibility requirements for post-employment healthcare.

Christie's tough talk and decisive action has made him a darling among conservatives. His name repeatedly has come up as a possible presidential candidate.

However, Christie has said he has no plans to run for the White House in 2012.

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