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HomeNewsArchivesFYI: Hill Wants Citizens to Be Included in Health Plan

FYI: Hill Wants Citizens to Be Included in Health Plan

The following material is being published, unedited, exactly as it was received via e-mail from the office of the government official named below, as a Source community service. Government office holders wishing to contribute to the bulletin board must e-mail source@viaccess.net. The Source reserves the right to choose what is published.
Sept. 13, 2007 – At a Senate Committee of Whole meeting held today, Senator Louis Patrick Hill posed the question: Why can't residents not employed by the government, and who can afford the premium, participate in the Government Employees' Health Insurance Plan?
The question was put to officials of CIGNA, the Government's health insurance carrier, who were called to testify on the contract currently up for renewal.
In response to Senator Hill's primary concern, which is to make reasonably-priced health insurance available to uninsured Virgin Islanders, CIGNA'S representatives indicated the inclusion of private residents, which could conceivably number in the thousands, would significantly alter the factors upon which government employees' premiums are predicated, thereby changing the risk factor of the insurance company.
In contending CIGNA's argument, Senator Hill argued that personnel factors do not differ in that the culture, habits and environment of residents outside the system are very much the same as those of government employees. "In fact," he emphasized, "they are identical. We eat the same food, drive the same roads, and breathe the same air. The experience is the same for all Virgin Islanders, regardless of their employment."
He concluded by saying, "All residents deserve the same type of health insurance that our government employees enjoy and we must begin to lower the barriers that prevent adequate health coverage for all and not create new obstacles."

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