Iowa Governor Terry Branstad asked state workers to follow his lead and contribute 20% toward their taxpayer-funded health insurance premiums. Branstad estimates if all approximately 41,000 employees agreed, they could save the state nearly $100 million a year. He said, "The Lieutenant Governor and I have chosen to lead by example. We hope that others will follow. But it is not mandatory."
Branstad said his premium share for his policy that also includes his wife would cost him $224 per month. The plan goes into effect August 1st. To this point, the governor didn't pay anything toward his premium. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds said her premium share of her policy, which just covers herself, would cost her $153 per month.
AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan said he hopes no employees voluntarily follow the governor's lead. He feels employees negotiated their current health benefits and shouldn't now have to give money back. Homan said, "This is his continued attempt to bully state employees into something." Homan continued, "It shows how out of touch this governor is with what really happens in state government."