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Report: Health Benefits Cannibalizing Municipal Budget

The generous health benefits offered to municipal workers around the state are devastating municipal budgets, according to a new report by The Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

The average family plan for a municipal worker is almost $21,000, 37 percent more than coverage companies buy, according to the report. Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer tells WBUR’s Bob Oakes that these high-cost plans are cannibalizing municipal budgets.

“If we want to preserve those services and the jobs of union members, then we should give municipal officials the powers to change plan design, go from $5 to $20 co-pays, for example, outside of collective bargaining,” Widmer says.

Union leaders are fighting such legislation. They say workers have agreed to lower wage increases in exchange for generous insurance.

Read the full report here.