TRENTON – Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, D-Union, who serves as co-Chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Public Employee Benefits Reform released the following statement regarding today’s meeting:
“Today we begin our discussion of health benefits for public employees, and how they figure into the larger picture of benefits reform. The health care crisis is not merely confined to the State Health Benefits Program, nor are its negative effects experienced solely by public employers. As the cost of providing quality health care has skyrocketed, all New Jerseyans, and all Americans are faced with the fear that they will not have adequate insurance coverage. Employers both private and public are straining to meet the needs of their employees, sagging under the duress of ever increasing premiums with no imaginable end in sight.
“Insuring public employees is a necessity. The state benefits from having a healthy, productive workforce, and it benefits from being able to attract skilled and talented employees. The challenge therefore is make sure that the State Health Benefits Program is more efficient and more affordable. Too much public money is being wasted providing outcomes that could be easily achieved at a far lower cost to taxpayers.”