Mayor Annise Parker accuses her election opponent of being a millionaire who refuses to pay taxes. Ben Hall, the leading opposition to Parker in this election, accuses Parker of entering office, instituting pay to play schemes and as a result, has become a millionaire herself.
For sure, Mayors don’t make the kind of money that will result in millionaire status, even if it’s through investments, which is a very tricky practice to seriously grasp. Here’s why. For 15 years Parker has served the city of Houston as a ‘at large member of city council, controller and now mayor, but has only reached millionaire status being mayor. Perhaps this will help.
Late last summer, Parker was catching a lot of flak over her layoffs of city employees and giving her staff hefty pay raises. To make amends to those employees who did not get raises, Parker decided to promise city employees they would see decreases in their health insurance costs, which was starting to escalate.
Parker created a self-insured employees benefits plan through Cigna insurance company. This move took attention away from the layoffs and pay raises. City employees were jumping for joy, singing ‘We have Overcome’ and praising the genius of a redefined Super Woman.
Parker’s ‘self-insured employees’ benefits plan now has some city employees singing, ‘Tis The Old Ship of Zion.’ When blood pressure medication go from $30.00 a month, to $160.00 a month under this new plan, there’s no joy, or praise for the one, who appeared to lie, to save face.
In a recent audit, City Controller Ron Green discovered that Parker’s plan was grossly miscalculated. Cigna is benefitting beyond belief, to the tune of ‘$4 million in rebates and savings that should be going to the City.’
The ‘self-insured employees’ benefits plan came about after the city lost $21 million on the infamous 'stop loss’ coverage, which raised more than a few eyes and now the new insurance provider is raking in millions of dollars while city employees suffer, struggle and strain with increasing health care cost.
Also important, Parker’s plan came a couple of months before Obamacare’s rollout and could have easily shouldered the blame, but Parker refused to go there, which in and of itself, explains a lot to a suspicious mind.