Dillon taking more heat from Mich. union leaders

LANSING, MI – The top Democrat in the Michigan Legislature continues to take heat from labor unions over his proposal to consolidate public employee health benefit plans across the state.

House Speaker Andy Dillon says the health care plan could save taxpayers about $900 million a year once fully implemented, mostly by cutting administrative costs and increasing buying power through pooling. But unions representing public employees consider the proposal an assault on collective bargaining and say it could lead to reduced benefits for workers.

Michigan AFL-CIO President Mark Gaffney said Friday that Dillon's plan may be politically motivated as he considers running for governor in 2010.

Dillon said he is motivated by good policy and moving the state forward.