The Des Moines Register’s editorial board has long argued that state workers should pay part of the cost of their health insurance. Iowa is one of only a few states where employees can opt to pay nothing in premiums for single or family coverage. In fact, 88 percent do exactly that.
It is not fair to taxpayers in the private sector who are paying significant amounts for less generous coverage. Just as troubling, this no-cost insurance breeds resentment toward state government workers.
These workers should put pressure on their unions negotiating pay and benefits on their behalf. These workers should tell union leaders they want everyone to pay something toward the cost of insurance. Gov. Terry Branstad and the Iowa Department of Administrative Services should not apply not-so-subtle pressure on workers to do so voluntarily.