Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Meeting of Health Care Reform Committee

The first meeting of the Public Employee Health Care Reform Committee has been scheduled for this Thursday, September 3rd, at 10:00 A.M. at the State Capitol Building. The single item on the agenda is a presentation by Speaker Dillon on his proposal.

At this time it appears there will be hearings of this committee scheduled once per week through September. There is no specific schedule at this time.

The members of the committee are:
Pam Byrnes (D) Chelsea (chairperson)
Harold Haugh (D) Roseville
Bert Johnson (D) Highland Park
Michael Lahti (D) Hancock
Tim Melton (D) Auburn Hills
Dan Scrips (D) Leland
Woodrow Stanley (D) Flint
Kate Segal (D) Battle Creek
Phillip Pavlov (R) St. Clair is the minority vice-chair
Robert Genetski (R) Saugatuck
Matthew Lori (R) Constantine
Bill Rogers (R) Brighton
James Bolger (R) Marshall

DRAFT A - Dillon Health Plan

This is a “first look” at Speaker Dillon’s Draft Bill creating the “Michigan Health Benefits Program Act”. It came out late last week and the MEA has been evaluating it over the weekend. This is their first summary of it:

The Speaker's legislation (Michigan Health Benefits Program Act):
--creates a mandatory state government-run health plan housed in the Department of Management and Budget, governed by a state Health Benefits Board and administered by the Office of State Employer
--mandates participation of all state, local, city, college, township, and county governments, agencies, school districts, public school academies, ISDs, community colleges, and public universities as well as all public retirement systems, obtain employee health plans from the state benefits plan Sec. 21(2), page 13
--eliminates collective bargaining (public employers and employees would be limited in choosing from the menu of plans and plan designs approved by the Health Benefits Board) Sec. 7(a), Page 4 and Sec. 11(c), Page 6
--mandates that all local governments participate in the state government-run health plan

--requires that all local governments are also financially liable for any budget shortfalls in the state-run fund Sec. 20, Page 12
--creates a state health benefits fund in the Department of Treasury Sec. 18(1), Page 10
--creates a public health plan by allowing individuals and organizations in the private sector to purchase coverage from the state Health Benefits plan Sec. 7(h), Page 7
--creates a new level of bureaucracy in state government within the Office of State Employer. Sec 10, Page 5
--puts state government between doctors and their patients and gives government a major role in patient health care decisions by mandating "use of clinical advocates to review diagnoses and care for correct treatment." Sec. 12(e), Page 7
--gives the Office of State Employer authority to create a new bureaucracy, and hire an executive director and staff to administer the program Sec. 13(c), Page 8
--allows local governments to opt-out of the program if they pay for an actuarial study