By Tom Gantert/Michigan Capitol Confidential
Two days before a mandated 20 percent contribution for health insurance from all public employees would be imposed by the pending creation of a new state law, Muskegon County approved seven union contracts that require only a 15 percent employee contribution. According to research from the , the average employee in Michigan with an employer-sponsored health insurance plan paid 22 percent of the cost for their own health insurance premiums in 2010, and the figure nationally was 27 percent.
Muskegon County Administrator Bonnie Hammersley said the total savings would have been the same under their deal as under Senate Bill 7 because employees also contribute 1 to 1.5 percent to retirement benefits.
James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center, has estimated that if the spirit of Senate Bill 7 is implemented appropriately it could save taxpayers $1 billion per year.