Trendsetter? If it was bargained on, it should be extended. Or, if we can't afford it, let's take away benefits from everyone. Imagine service at the Secretary of State after that.
As someone who didn't have health insurance for 2 years while I was unemployed, I wouldn't wish that kind of stress on any one. One only needs to look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to know that basic family protection is the most fundamental goal.
Besides, if 25% of the affected public employees leave for private business, it'll end up costing more in retraining and lost experience than medical coverage would be for the whole group.