"This is a “first look” analysis to Speaker Dillon’s Draft Bill creating the “ Michigan Health Benefits Program Act”. We will be doing a more extensive analysis of the bill over the weekend and into the first part of the week for more specific points on which we can base recommendations for reaction and activities. Also, keep in mind that the Bill currently is labeled Draft “A” which leads one to believe that it may be modified even before it goes before the committee.
The bill clearly creates a mandatory government-run state health plan for all public employees and retirees. Eliminates collective bargaining rights. Creates a public health plan option for individuals and private organizations. Puts state government between doctors and patients. Doesn't address what really matters -- the real drivers of health care costs. This is not a legislative process to do good public policy: it is a tightly scripted roll-out of a gubernatorial campaign.
The Speaker's legislation (Michigan Health Benefits Program Act):
creates a mandatory state government-run health plan housed in the Department of Management and Budget, governed by a state Health Benefits Board and administered by the Office of State Employer
mandates participation of all state, local, city, college, township, and county governments, agencies, school districts, public school academies, ISDs, community colleges, and public universities as well as all public retirement systems, obtain employee health plans from the state benefits plan Sec. 21(2), page 13
eliminates collective bargaining (public employers and employees would be limited in choosing from the menu of plans and plan designs approved by the Health Benefits Board) Sec. 7(a), Page 4 and Sec. 11(c), Page 6
mandates that all local governments participate in the state government-run health plan -- and requires that all local governments are also financially liable for any budget shortfalls in the state-run fund Sec. 20, Page 12
creates a state health benefits fund in the Department of Treasury Sec. 18(1), Page 10
creates a public health plan by allowing individuals and organizations in the private sector to purchase coverage from the state Health Benefits plan Sec. 7(h), Page 7
creates a new level of bureaucracy in state government within the Office of State Employer. Sec 10, Page 5
puts state government between doctors and their patients and gives government a major role in patient health care decisions by mandating "use of clinical advocates to review diagnoses and care for correct treatment." Sec. 12(e), Page 7
gives the Office of State Employer authority to create a new bureaucracy, and hire an executive director and staff to administer the program Sec. 13(c), Page 8
allows local governments to opt-out of the program if they pay for an actuarial study proving that the plan they offer is more than five percent less expensive than the state-run plan. Sec. 19(2), Page 11"
From the Detroit Free Press - disputes several points in the post from the Union mouthpiece
Here's the copy of the actual bill - (and located at this website )which is not what the Union mouthpiece says - don't let anyone disseminate the information, you need to read it and make your own decision
I don't want to see breakdowns or bulleted talking points to make the decisions for us - we're smart - send us the bill itself, and let us make our own informed decisions without bias or pressure - if you like or dislike the plan voice your opinion, but don't let any group tell you what to do. I'll be honest, I haven't decided but I will research it myself, and I know I'm not going to let any group supposedly make my informed decisions for me."