Aug 14, 2010

The Fat Man in the Pool

For most of this week, Philip R. Klein has focused (term used loosely) on Jefferson County employee health care and its shared insurance pool, with special attention to the county employee health care clinic: 
According to county records - the Review has learned that Jefferson County has its own MEDICAL CLINIC for its employees. Yes - you heard right - the county runs a doc shop for its employees. And it costs you the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars. And get this -nobody uses it to the point there is a discussion from commissioners NOT TO CLOSE IT BUT MOVE IT SO EMPLOYEES WILL USE IT MORE? What the hell? While cops are getting laid off?

Late yesterday afternoon the employees in the "Employee Health Department" (who knew?) sent our an email that was forwarded to the Review about 100 times. Here it is....

According to the sources - the Employee Health Department records indicate that other than flu shots - they have seen (wait for it) little or no patients.

"Everyone is provided health insurance and have their own doctors. We don't need a d**n health department for employees," the source told us.

The Public - The Review's phones have been ringing off the wall. Thanks to all that called and are continuing to call as we write this. was your sleep? Waking up huh? That is our message to the callers.

Jefferson County Employee's Health Service - The only one in the state, the only county in the state, and we know now that the employee's there are ALL RELATED TO COUNTY OR FEDERAL APPOINTMENTS WERE THE GOVERNMENT JUST CREATED A JOB!

It is too funny - the employees of Jefferson County have THEIR OWN clinic that NOBODY USES? No Patients! And over $500k a year in pork to political appointees....and we are going to let cops go?
These uninformed statements and wild claims were repeated during his appearance on Channel 4 KBTV this week as the station's political commentator (term again used loosely): 
Mike McNeil: How many counties in the state of Texas have a health department for their employees:

Philip R. Klein: (laughing) this is what gets me, we have a, There are none to answer your question.
Fact check: There are many counties in Texas that have similar clinics, ranging from small to large. For example, a random sampling includes Dallas County, Brazos County, Mesquite County, Tom Green County, and Bexar County. Fort Bend County even offers a mail-order pharmacy for its employees. 

While we've come to expect these lies and ignorance from Philip R. Klein, Channel 4 is complicit in spreading Klein's reprobate claims by not challenging his mendacious statements.This unethical bias underscores the station's commitment to confusion.

This employee health clinic is operated under Jefferson County's in-house health care program, a shared insurance pool where the rates for pooled benefits are not affected by the actual claims of the group.  Groups benefit from the spread of risk among the pool. This is very common among private industry and governmental units.

In Jefferson County, this program is provided through the Southeast Texas Employee Benefit Pool, a public entity risk pool sponsored by the County and accounted for as an enterprise fund in the county's budget. See for yourself

The nurse practitioner referenced by Klein administers the county's program, according to real county documents, not manufactured sources who reflect Klein's ignorance of this subject:
Nurse Practitioner - Responsible for the County's in-house employee health care program. The Nurse Practitioner's primary function is preventative health care for all Jefferson County employees.
While Klein claims that the Jefferson County is an example of nepotism, this method of self-insurance, a shared benefits pool, has saved taxpayers literally billions of dollars across the U.S. See for yourself.  The State of Texas uses a similar insurance pool or high-risk management.

When Bexar County opened its employee health center in 2009, the estimated cost in savings to county taxpayers was almost a million dollars after the third year of operation:
Full-time Bexar County employees now have access to convenient, low-cost health care  through the Bexar County Employee Health Clinic and Wellness Center, a centrally located clinic officially opened by Commissioners Court on Monday.

The County’s expected operating cost of approximately $400,000 per year will be offset by an expected savings of $1.1 million annually, starting in the third year of operation and thereafter.

“Bexar County now counts itself among large employers who realize the value of taking care of their employees; companies such as USAA, the City of San Antonio, Toyota and Valero,” Commissioner Tommy Adkisson said. “We realize the value of having a healthy, productive workforce and how that will contribute to an overall better community for all of Bexar County.”
Neither is this concept of an employee health clinic limited to just governmental entities. It's quite common across private industry, where economies of scale provide real savings to the businesses. As an example, Toyota included a $9 million employee health care facility at its San Antonio plant.

As penance for being so abysmally stupid, I challenge Philip Klein to publish the number of businesses in Jefferson County that have on-site health clinics for their employees. (Hint: start with Valero, Goodyear, and Exxon-Mobil).


Anonymous said...

Working in an industry were RNs staff a medical clinic, I think it's smart business when an employee can get a Band-Aid, an aspirin or a blood pressure check without clocking out to see an ER doctor.

Anonymous said...

LOL...Phil has been ranting about this all week and you just blew him out of the water with one article!!! Love the web site.

Anonymous said...

busted again.

Anonymous said...

If tha idiot knew anything at all about the clinic, he'd know this is impossible.

"Late yesterday afternoon the employees in the "Employee Health Department" (who knew?) sent our an email."

Klein is lying again. Look into it and you'll see what I mean, Gus.