December 23, 2009

RWF MI~State Senators sponsor Bills to control public health care costs 12/21/2009

Subject: State Senators sponsor
bills to control public health care costs
Date: Monday, Dec. 21, 2009

LANSING — Three cost-controlling measures designed to help ensure
taxpayer dollars are spent more efficiently were recently introduced in
the MI Senate, said sponsors Sen. Mark C. Jansen and Sen. Alan Sanborn.

Senate Bills 1046 and 1047 and Senate Joint Resolution P are short- and
long-term cost-controlling measures for the state, schools, local units
of government, and colleges and universities.

"These reform measures will help all public employers, like local
governments and schools, manage the skyrocketing costs of health care
benefits and any savings will stay with the public employers," said
Jansen, R-Gaines Township, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The first two bills would require all employees who receive benefits
from a publicly funded health insurance plan to contribute 15 or 20
percent to their health care costs.

SB 1046, sponsored by Jansen, would limit the portion of health
insurance benefits public employers pay to no more than 80 percent of
the premium cost or a maximum of 85 percent if the benefits include
wellness incentives and a health savings account. This would include
benefits for elected officials, noncivil service state employees,
legislative employees, local public employees and community college employees.

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, health savings
accounts are designed to help individuals save for future qualified
medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis.

More than half of Indiana state government employees have a health
savings account. Since introducing innovative consumer-driven plans to
state employees, Indiana has saved an estimated $42 million, said the
state's Assistant General Counsel Anita Samuel.

Joseph Antos of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.
believes Michigan taxpayers could save hundreds of millions of dollars
while state employees receive health care options under a consumer-directed plan.

Senate Majority Leader Michael D. Bishop, R-Rochester, fully supports
the Senate Republican plan.

"This is critical legislation for Michigan's future," Bishop
said. "It will not only save taxpayer dollars but assure that all
public employees have an affordable and quality health care option. We
need solutions that create lower spending and more savings for public
employee health care and these bills accomplish just that."

Jansen's SJR P would amend the Michigan Constitution to establish
uniform cost allocation requirements for health benefits for public
employees, including state civil service and university employees.

SB 1047, sponsored by Sanborn, would allow local units of government to
offer their employees the same health insurance benefits available to state employees.

"Residents who work in cities and townships are public employees too
and as such should enjoy the cost reductions of statewide health
plans," said Sanborn, R-Richmond Township. "This should translate
into savings for everyone."

SBs 1046 and 1047, and SJR P have been referred to the Senate
Government Operations and Reform Committee for further consideration.

E-news distributed by the

Marianne Weiss, 2009-2010 President (586) 752-4763
Members: Republican Women's Federation of Michigan
and the National Federation of Republican Women
Click here for our Website:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be patient on comment approval. Too many places to be. Thanks for your thoughts.