DOVER, Del. (AP) - Legislative budget writers appear to have little appetite for forcing state employees to pay more for their health care, even though Gov. Jack Markell says soaring health care costs represent Delaware's biggest financial challenge.
Markell has proposed raising employee premiums from about $2 to $20 a month, depending on the type of plan. He also wants to restrict new hires to portable, tax-deferred, health saving accounts, to which the state would contribute money for deductibles.
Members of the Joint Finance Committee expressed reservations Thursday about those proposals, as well as the final report from an employee health plan task force chaired by Markell's budget director.
Lawmakers suggested that officials need to focus on driving down health care costs rather than making employees pay more or limiting their health care choices.