Senate passes health care reform for retired legislators
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Under legislation passed by the Michigan Senate Thursday, the health care system for future lawmakers would be changed to a graded system similar to that given to new school employees, said state Sen. John Pappageorge, R-Troy.
"The only way Michigan will recover from its current economic hardship is if we cut costs across the board," Pappageorge said. "In the coming years this legislation will create real savings. After passing reforms to change health care benefits for new school employees, it is only fair that we do the same for incoming members of the Legislature."
Senate Bill 868 creates a graduated health care system for new lawmakers. A legislator would receive 30 percent coverage at the end of four years of service with six percent being added to each year of additional service. The coverage maximizes at 90 percent after 14 years of service. After lawmakers turn 55, they are eligible for the retirement health care coverage, which becomes supplemental coverage when the individual is 65.
"Residents of the 13th Senate District and voters all across Michigan deserve to know that their elected officials are doing everything we can to save the state money," Pappageorge said. "When looking for ways to make ends meet - it's important to start at home. By passing this legislation we are letting Michigan voters know that we are dedicated to reforming government. I look forward to seeing this common sense measure approved by my colleagues in the House and signed into law by the governor."
SB 869 applies the same graded health care system as SB 868 to new judges, and appointed or elected officials. Office holders subject to this reform include the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and the legislative auditor general.
Both bills now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.