Re: Warwick City Council Rejects $1 Million in Budget Savings
Dan Yorke just had Warwick City Councilman Steve Merolla on to talk about why the City of Warwick has eschewed an additional $1 million in cost-savings by deciding to stay with Blue Cross/Blue Shield instead the cheaper United Healthcare as manager of the City’s employee healthcare plan. (The “manager” distinction is important–Warwick pays its own claims, the healthcare provider only administers it. That means a claim rejected by the provider can be appealed to the City, which can decide to pay it anyway).
Merolla stated there were many city employee union members in attendance at the meeting and they made it clear they would be unhappy if United was chosen. Merolla himself was threatened by someone in the gallery at the meeting (he’s filed a police report). It’s Merolla’s belief that this intimidation was a factor in why the majority of the City Council ignored the recommendation of it’s own, appointed consultant and voted to stay with BC/BS and cost the City of Warwick nearly $1 million.
Finally, Yorke asserted that BC/BS is bought an paid for by unions. Currently, there are three union members on the BOD, including Chairman of the Board, Frank J. Montanaro, President of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO.