Healthcare Exchange Flatlined in Michigan

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

After hours of heated public input and multiple hearings with key stakeholders, the Michigan House decided it will not vote to create state run health insurance exchanges under Obamacare. The House Health Policy Committee defeated the legislation nine to five, with two members deciding not to vote.

"I was delighted with the outcome," said Representative Mike Shirkey. "I've been an-anti health exchange guy from the beginning, other than a fully privatized one."

Shirkey, a Republican, represents House District 65, that includes Eaton Rapids, as well as parts of Jackson and Lenawee counties. He said among other reasons, there were too many unanswered specifics to pass the bill.

"Do I know what the result of that resistance would be? No," said Shirkey. "But neither did the folks that threw the boxes of tea over the edge of the bow in the 1770's knew either, but they just knew that enough was enough."

"This as you know is an issue that affects, every man, woman and child in this state," said Representative Gail Haines, who chairs the committee on Health Policy, also a Republican. Haines voted to pass the bill, saying that it's time to compromise. However she agrees that more details on how the healthcare law would affect those in Michigan were needed.

"There were many unanswered questions, and that is something that we have had issue with quite frankly all along," said Haines.

The Governor was not excited about the decision, but accepts it.

"That was their choice," said Governor Snyder. "We've been working on a state partnership exchange model, which is a federal exchange with some state attributes, and that's why I told them, was the consequence of their early actions or inactions depending on how you define it."

Snyder had wanted the bill passed to allow the state to have more options and flexibility.

"I always want to look to say is there something that we can do innovative or unique to Michigan. Again, talking to the federal government that could be even better for our citizens. I always like to have that option," said Snyder.

Now Governor Snyder will push for his back-up plan---a joint state-federal partnership. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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