To the Editor:
On behalf of the citizens of Switzerland County, I spoke to the board Monday night and told “the 4” we were there to accept their resignations. I explained that they got themselves into this situation of trying to make us think they were unable to leave the group insurance plan by not discussing and fixing the issue in November or January during open season.
So I gave them some options:
1) Resign – the corporation can report them as “terminated” which is a “qualifying event” and a reason to leave the insurance plan without penalty. Since they are leaving an employer sponsored plan, they can all join Medicaid late without a penalty. Their Part A is premium free and Part B should cost around $120 a month for themselves and their spouse. A far cry from the $1,600 each we are paying now for their monthly plans. Or they could shop the market place on HealthCare.gov for a plan. They would also still be in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Medicaid and ACA info above is true for any option they choose.
2) Resign – Stay in the group insurance until December 31st. Change the amount that the corporation covers for their current plan and they immediately begin paying the corporation each month for their insurance. Maybe flip the deal around and the corporation can pay $1 with them paying the remaining cost.
3) Resign – Drop them from the plan and pay any fines or penalties associated with dropping for a “non-qualifying event” as long as the fines and penalties are under what the total amount would be to continue to pay for their insurance until December 31st. (Approx $80,000)
No matter which option they select, the community is asking for them to resign and step down.
I was also shocked to arrive and see that the “insurance update” listed on the agenda, which was posted in the paper, had been crossed out. That’s right, it was crossed out on the agenda without any reason given. People asked why and no answer was given. There are some new rules also if you want to give public comments. You must sign up as you arrive and list your topic, name, address or e-mail. If you are going to repeat or discuss information that has already been discussed the board president stated you would be cut off. You can also now only direct your comments to the board president. No naming or pointing to any of the other board members.
Folks, I know for years all I read and heard about was how important it was for people to attend these meetings. Board members used to beg people to attend. Well, we are attending now and we would love to speak with you on issues. However, no answers are given, no one nods, no discussion occurs etc. Now the board is going so far as to silence people who do attend. I thought we had a constitutional right of free speech. Especially when comments are given in a professional presentation.
Apparently “the 4” are tired of hearing about how they are spending corporation funding on themselves versus our teachers and children.
If you are tired of hearing about it the solution is simple…Resign!
Thanks to all who attended! Please continue to make an effort to show up at the meetings and let your opinion be heard. We are standing up a dedicated website and will be organizing an effort to go door-to-door to educate people in the community before election time.
Chris and Michelle Oatman,
Proudly from Patriot