State employees, retirees deserve better
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Growing up in eastern North Carolina, I was raised by two state employees in a household where the values of selfless service, commitment to the state and others, and hard work were on display each and every day.
I saw those same values exhibited by my teammates during my career in hospitals in North Carolina, where those who work in our hometown hospitals dedicate themselves to caring for their friends and neighbors.
Proposed changes to the State Health Plan pit the State Employees Association and a small number of vocal state employees against others in their communities, threatening our state’s health care infrastructure and safety net, and harming those towns and cities where state employees, teachers and health care workers live, work and nurture their families.
It is time to reform the State Health Plan to ensure it can continue to support our hardworking state employees, but not at the cost of harming the very people our state employees care for and serve.
State legislators have proposed a collaborative process that engages state employees, teachers, retirees, and healthcare professionals to develop a sustainable system that offers pricing and cost transparency to state employees, affordable premiums and employee incentives and virtual health options.
This is a common sense path forward to ensure continued access to quality healthcare not only for state employees and retirees like my parents, but for all North Carolinians.
Lawler is president of the North Carolina Healthcare Association and a native of Greenville.