Press Releases | Unions and Labor Standards

News from EPI Efforts to seek parity in health insurance contributions misguided

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie argues that New Jersey state and local public employees should contribute 30% to the cost of their health insurance, which he claims would put public-sector workers at parity with those in the private sector.  In Cockeyed Comparisons: Is this the new normal for public employee health care contributions?, Rutgers University Associate Professor and EPI Research Associate Jeffrey H. Keefe shows that New Jersey private-sector employees who are comparable to state and local government employees contribute 22% to the cost of their health insurance, not 30%. Governor Christie is not relying on accurate data for his parity benchmark.  As Keefe demonstrated in an earlier report, accurate comparisons of compensation necessitate analyses of total compensation costs, not just of one element of compensation.  When an apples-to-apples comparison is made, New Jersey state and local employees are not overcompensated.

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