Dodging Health Care Costs

The City Council has over-ridden Mike’s veto on legislation targeting companies like Wal-Mart, which would force big grocers to cover employee health-care, and the matter is headed to court.

The argument made by the anti-Wal Mart camp is that these corporations push their health costs onto the public sector, receiving a kind of stealth subsidy via Medicaid. (The Post’s grumbles here; Adrianne Shropshire’s praise here.)

But the grocers aren’t the only ones ducking health costs. As one reader notes, the City of New York does its best to push its own health-care costs onto the private sector, via cash payments to employees who opt out of city health-care in favor of a spouse’s (for example) private plan.

The details of the plan are on the site of the Office of Labor Relations. Here’s the summary:

“The MSC Health Benefits Buy-Out Waiver Program allows eligible employees who can obtain non-City group health benefits to waive their New York City health benefits in return for an annual cash incentive payment.”