NorthJersey.com: Health Benefits Changes Welcome; More Needed

Progress is progress, but let’s not get too carried away by Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan announced this week to save taxpayers nearly $500 million in the next two years because of changes made to the state’s health benefits plan for public employees and retirees. The plan, which will involve steering employees and retirees to in-network doctors and generic drugs, is the result of consensus reached between the Democratic governor and unions.

Murphy, a Democrat who won election last year in part by garnering widespread support among the rank-and-file of the state’s largest public unions, has been reluctant to embrace any sort of hardball plan to begin to get New Jersey’s public pension and health care obligations under control, hailed the measure as a “win-win,” for state workers and taxpayers.

“As I’ve said from Day One, I believe in the power of collective bargaining and negotiating in good faith with our workforce," Murphy said in a statement. "Today’s agreement is a testament that this approach works — for the state of New Jersey, for workers, and for our taxpayers."

Read the full editorial here.