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Tue July 21, 2009
Granholm cool to statewide public employee insurance pool
By Rick Pluta, MPRN
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm says she's not ready to endorse a proposal to put 400,000 public employees into a statewide health insurance pool. She says she's not convinced the plan will produce big savings. And she says it does nothing to get the state out from under its current budget crisis.
"State workers earn less than the private sector, and their benefits cost less than the private sector, with the latest round of consessions state employees have made," Granholm says. "State employees have made enormous concessions."
The governor's position puts her at odds with Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon, who unveiled the plan last week. It's opposed by many public employees, including the state's biggest teachers union, which operates its own health insurance company.
Dillon says he has not yet spoken with the governor on the plan. But Dillon says his research shows the state and local governments would save hundreds of millions of dollars using a statewide health coverage pool.