GIC reverses health-plan vote The Lowell Sun

BOSTON — After an upsurge of criticism surrounded its decision to cut health-care plans for state employees, the Group Insurance Commission voted 12-2 Thursday to take a new approach.

In response to the original decision, Sen. Cindy Friedman, D-Arlington, filed legislation Jan. 25 that would require the GIC to wait 90 days after notifying the Legislature to make any agreements or changes in the contract.

In testimony at the hearing, SEIU Local 509 President Peter MacKinnon urged the Senate to support Friedman’s bill because of the positive effect it could have on state employees. Local 509 represents human service workers and educators, 8,300 of whom would be affected by the GIC’s original decision.

“We need to re-look at how we do this, not only for the protection of the members but for the protection of the commonwealth,” Friedman said. “We need to understand that and not be making these decisions in vacuums.”

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