Rauner tries end run on health care
In Special Session, legislators are back in the Capitol, trying to end the state budget standoff before the new fiscal year gets underway on July 1. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s been playing a dangerous game for more than two years—refusing to work to enact a budget unless his ever-shifting list of demands is met.
Now Rauner is demanding that any final budget include massive cuts to group health insurance—based on his scheme for big hikes in employee health care costs. . And Republicans in both houses are pushing a plan that not only makes the cuts Rauner wants, but also includes a provision that tries to invalidate any union contract provision that requires expenditures for health care beyond that reduced appropriation for the next three years.
AFSCME members have stood firm at the bargaining table against Rauner’s demands for these big hikes in employee health care costs—and gone to court to block his efforts to impose them. So now Rauner is trying to make an end run by intensifying pressure on lawmakers to slash funding for the state employee health plan.