Monday, August 3, 2009

A Letter From Representative Dillon Regarding His Health Care Proposal - What do you think?

Rep. Dillon's Letter:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns with my recent proposal to reform health care for public sector employees. I appreciate your thoughtful suggestions and advocacy on this important matter.

Please know this is simply a proposal. At this time, no legislation has been agreed upon or introduced. To ensure all concerns are heard, I am continuing to meet with groups and organizations that would be affected by this proposal. With that said, as you know these are very tough economic times, and the effects resonate in the lives of all Michigan residents. I believe that with a budget deficit approaching $2 billion, state government must make some difficult cuts in spending and do its fair share to shoulder the burden - including legislators.

I have argued from the start that the state has been using one-time gimmicks for the past eight years to avoid addressing our structural deficit. We need to make tough cuts and implement serious reforms to reduce the cost of government.

The plan I am proposing will overhaul health care for Michigan's public sector employees and retirees, consolidating the hundreds of different health benefit plans under one roof. Creating this larger pool of customers will maximize efficiency and cost savings, while making health care more affordable and accessible. This move will save taxpayers almost $1 billion per year once fully implemented.

Please note that every public employee, including myself, my colleagues in the House and Senate, the Governor, all public school teachers and many others will be able to choose from the same health care plans. Finally, this is a pro-worker reform proposal. Current contracts in place will be honored, collective bargaining rights will be sustained and patient choice will be preserved.

It is necessary to assure the state is financially sound and can compete in the 21st Century. This reform will allow the state to continue to provide for access to affordable heath care, a quality educational system and adequately funded police and fire protection, all of which are critical ingredients to a healthy economy.

As I stated earlier, this is just a proposal. In the coming weeks I will continue to meet with many groups representing state and municipal workers throughout Michigan. It is my hope we can come together and work on a solution that works best for all parties, especially Michigan citizens.

Please rest assured that I will keep your views in mind as we work through this process.

For additional information, you may view my proposal at .

Again, thank you for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future regarding this or any other matter of concern.