And predictably put the blame somewhere else. “Also, the premium increases for health insurance they want from us will cost us about $600,000 every year,” Martin Kich of Wright State University writes on the academe blog maintained by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in a broadside against his university’s administration. “Right now, we pay about $1.8 million.”
“$600,000 more would be a 33% increase! On top of higher premiums, they want to cut health benefits via increased co-pays, increased out-of-pocket maximums, and increased coinsurance. Needless to say, cuts such as these harm people who are already sick, defeating the purpose of insurance. And these cuts will fall more heavily on the lower-paid faculty. This is the plan they want us to accept! All told the cuts they want from us would save the administration $2.1 million every year–-would cost us $2.1 million every year, the equivalent of a 4% cut in pay to the Bargaining Unit as a whole–-and to repeat, the majority of the cuts will fall on people who are sick, and for low paid faculty it will be a double whammy.”
To be sure, many of Kich’s claims about WU’s overseers are probably legitimate. We’ve certainly encountered empire-building administrations before and frequently written about them. Yet and still, every particular he lays out about the increase in health care costs and the decrease in actual coverage has been an experience the rest of us in the non-academic world have been experiencing since, well, since Obamacare’s mandates went into effect, when, to paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, we found out what’s in it.