NJ Politics Digest: Murphy Reaches Money-Saving Health Deal With Unions

Phil Murphy

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. Flickr/Phil Murphy for Governor

The Murphy administration says a health care deal it has reached with the state’s public workers’ unions will save about $500 million over two years.

The deal steers union members and retirees to in-network doctors and generic drugs, according to a report by The Record. Those are the same cost-cutting measures that have been employed by private sector employees for years.

The plan represents about 15 percent of the $3.4 billion New Jersey paid this year for 800,000 retirees and active workers, according to reports. The changes were approved by a joint union-management panel in Trenton on Monday morning, the Record reported.

Murphy touted the deal as an example of how his approach to dealing with unions is paying off for taxpayers. Critics have charged that Murphy, who was elected with the support of the state’s powerful unions, is too close to them to achieve the kind of savings the financially troubled state needs to get its fiscal house in order.

Quote of the Day: “We’re not changing graduation. All we’re asking is to reduce the number of assessments, and that’s what we hear from the field.” — New Jersey Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet, on efforts to scale back PARCC testing.

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NJ Politics Digest: Murphy Reaches Money-Saving Health Deal With Unions