February 12, 2015 - PolitickerNJ
By By New Jersey State AFL-CIO
After briefing the New Jersey State AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions on Thursday, Senate President Stephen Sweeney unveiled plans to pilot a new, patient-centered health care delivery system in select regions of the state.
The new model, endorsed by International labor unions and doctors alike, has been implemented for public-sector workers throughout the country, where it has been shown to trim health care costs while improving patients’ experiences with their doctors. Private companies such as IBM, Johnson & Johnson and Kaiser Permanente have also adopted the model.
Senate President Sweeney’s plan is still in the conceptual stage, but it compliments organized labor’s ongoing efforts to explore options for lowering health care costs without sacrificing patient care for our members. Two public employee design committees will be tasked with crafting the plan. The pilot program will enroll a maximum of 60,000 volunteer employees in northern, central and southern New Jersey. The results will be assessed after three years.
“Like the Senate president, we recognize that runaway health care costs must be tamed,” said Charles Wowkanech, President of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, which represents one million workers and their families. “We also know there are proven ways to save the taxpayers on health care without reducing patient services or limiting care delivery. We agree with Senate President Sweeney on the concept of establishing a voluntary, patient-centered pilot program, and look forward to working with the health care design committees in crafting the details of this new program.”
The following labor leaders attended the press conference: Donna Chiera, AFT; Sherryl Gordon, AFSCME; Dominick Marino, IAFF; Patrick Nolan, AAUP-AFT; Jean Pierce, HPAE; Hetty Rosenstein, CWA; Charles Wowkanech, NJ State AFL-CIO; Patrick Colligan, PBA; Davy Jones, STFA; Sean Spiller, NJEA; and Abdur Yasin, FMBA.