Almost one month ago, the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to drastically limit the health care plan options to both current and retired public employees.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) immediately announced it would hold an emergency meeting, and urged members to speak at GIC public hearings in Boston, Lowell, Cape Cod, and other locations, send comments to the GIC online, and to attend a Senate Committee on Ways & Means hearing regarding this issue.
Now, thanks to the organization and rapid response of the MTA and others who helped in this fight, including members of the public, state representatives, and more, the GIC has voted to undo their disastrous decision.
This is a great victory not just for the public employees who don’t have to worry about losing their health care plans, but for anyone who cares about such major decisions being open to public debate. That, after all, was what shocked so many, the secrecy surrounding the initial vote.
Thankfully, the GIC seems to have gotten the message. As Melvin Kleckner noted, “I don’t think it takes a political expert to conclude our process was flawed.”
But whether or not the GIC decides to use a “flawed process” (i.e., deliberately try to prevent the public from having time to voice their concerns) in the future, the MTA has proved that they, along with other unions and everyone who cares about people having access to health care, will always be ready to defend our state’s public employees.