Wednesday, May 18, 2011

UPDATE on the Senate Bill requiring 20% Payment of Health Care

The insurance bill (SJ 0007) requiring a 20% payment by the employee toward their health care costs did NOT reach the Senate floor today, but there is plenty of talk going on in the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee.

Sen. Mark JANSEN (R-Gaines Twp.) said he's making the case against including a hard cap on costs. For instance, a hard cap of $13,000 has been discussed. This would mean that, by law, a school district could pay no more than $13,000 toward each employee’s health care. Anything above that hard cap would be the responsibility of the employee. This amount could EXCEED a 20% payment and would subject an employee to any increase in costs in coming years.
Sen. Jansen has concern that the “hard cap” would cause the bill to “end up in court”, so he wants to keep the bill “clean”, as he says.

Senator Jansen also commented that there's a fairness issue; insurance costs more in Detroit than in the Upper Peninsula, meaning it could benefit outstate districts more than urban ones. However, many superintendents testified today that it would save their districts money. Other superintendents complained to the committee today that they would not benefit from SJ 0007 this year because they were in mid-contract and would not be able to implement a required payment until their contracts expired if it were to become law.

They are now predicting that the bill will come to the floor of the Senate on Wednesday.

Tell your senator that Senate Bill 7 will not solve Michigan’s budget crisis. Tell your senator that you have paid for your health insurance over the years by giving up pay raises and with savings realized through reducing your coverages! Tell your senator this should be up to individual school district contract negotiations!

WRITE Immediately or CALL NOW! Please use your cell phones or home emails!

Sen. Mark Jansen - R - Gaines Township - Committee Chair

Sen. Joe Hune - R - Hamburg Township (Livingston County)

State Senator Mike Kowall R-White Lake Twp

Sen. Howard Walker, R - Grand Traverse

Sen. John Pappageorge, R – Troy

Sen. Bruce Caswell, R - Hillsdale