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Thu July 16, 2009
House Speaker Dillon introduces statewide insurance pool
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – State House Speaker Andy Dillon unveiled his plan Wednesday for a statewide insurance pool for public employees. He thinks it would be a big money-saver for the state.
AUDIO: All state, local and public school workers would be covered by one insurance provider, under that plan. That would be close to half a million people. Dillon says the plan would save the state up to $900 million. He says part of that money would come as providers compete for business with the state.
The state superintendent likes the idea of a statewide plan and agrees with Dillon that Michigan would save a lot of money.
But activists who oppose the plan say to create that kind of savings the state would have to make huge cuts to worker benefits. Representatives from the MEA teachers' union say the Legislature cannot be expected to take on an issue as large as statewide health insurance if it can't even balance the state budget.