A study released today by Marketing Resource Group found voters opposed to a mandatory government-run public employee health insurance plan by a 56 percent to 30 percent margin.
Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican majorities in the House and Senate have made finding a structural solution to Michigan’s chronic budget deficits a priorits — and slashing the cost of public employee healthcare is considered a likely solution.
Forming one healthcare plan for all state, school district and municipal employees was proposed by state Treasurer Andy Dillon when he was speaker of the state House in 2009. Proponents believe combining the plans could save millions in administrative costs.
Among voters opposed to a Dillon-like health plan, 40 percent said they were strongly opposed after hearing arguments for and against the idea. After being told similar plans have required government bailouts in other states, 74 percent were opposed.
“Once voters are aware of the serious financial risks, not even cupid’s arrow could kindle much love for a mandatory state government-run health plan for public employees,” said Paul King, director of research services at MRG, a political consulting and communications firm in Lansing.
Snyder is due to present his budget proposal to the Legislature on Thursday, which may include reforms to public employee health or retirement plans.
The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted from Jan. 24-27 on behalf of Citizens for Accountability in Reform, a coalition of public employee groups, insurance companies and others opposed to merging public employee health plans in the state. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.