House moves to eliminate their own retirement health insurance

Michigan House of Representatives

Michigan House of Representatives

Yesterday the House passed HB 4087 which ends legislative retiree health care for legislators elected after 2007. Under this legislation, future lawmakers and most of those currently serving in the Legislature would no longer be eligible for the benefit.

Currently, legislators who have served for six years are eligible to receive health care coverage—at taxpayer expense—once they are 55 years old. In 2009-10, the cost of health and dental benefits to retired lawmakers and their dependents was $5 million.

Past attempts to address legislators’ benefits have failed, but now Gov. Snyder is calling for “shared sacrifice.” And school employees have certainly stepped up to the plate by sharing in the cost of their benefits, accepting wage and benefit cuts through local bargaining and paying into their pension. The bill now moves to the Senate, where we’ll find out if lawmakers are willing to truly share in the sacrifice.