Monday, January 24, 2011

Sandoval's claim of "full health coverage" for state retirees an old chestnut

Tonight in his State of the State speech, Governor Sandoval proposed, among other cuts, to end "full health coverage for all [state] retirees."

The problem is that the state has not and does not pay "full health coverage" for retirees.

As we wrote when this same proposal to cut a non-existent benefit was made in 2009:

according to the non-partisan Center for State and Local Government Excellence report on this issue from fall 2008, 45 of 50 states pay at least partially for premiums, and 19 states (not including Nevada) pay 100% of premiums for retired public service workers. A chart from the SLGE, reproduced on the website of the Nevada Faculty Alliance, shows the whole list ...

More generally, concerning the liability associated with this benefit, the SLGE has compiled another chart (...with Nevada high-lighted) which demonstrates that of the 26 states which do not pre-pay their liability, Nevada has the 7th smallest liability in total dollars and the 7th smallest by liability as a % of budget.

And in any event, the full benefit in Nevada is only available to state workers who have provided 20 years of service or more to the state, not "all retirees."

So it may be worth taking a bit more critical look at this, and other proposed cuts.

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