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Tue August 11, 2009
More Mich. unions oppose employee health overhaul
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – Public employees and union lobbyists are speaking out against House Speaker Andy Dillon's proposal for a statewide insurance pool.
A dozen people - from firefighters to nurses to teachers - lined the steps of the state Capitol building to speak against the plan as representatives of hundreds of thousands of public employees.
Mark Gaffney is with the Michigan AFL-CIO lobby.
"These workers are very concerned that their healthcare - that they've been paying more and more for each negotiations - is going to be put at risk with this risky plan," Gaffney says.
Gaffney says there is no way under Dillon's plan to find huge savings for the state without cutting worker benefits or raising premiums. But Dillon says his plan will be so attractive that private sector employees may want to buy in. He says the almost $1 billion savings will come, in part, from the insurance company bidding process for a statewide contract.