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Senate Approves Health Care Exchanges

November 11, 2011

This week, the State Senate passed legislation that would establish a health care exchange as required by the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). SBAM and other supporters of the legislation argue that the state must be proactive in its efforts to control what the exchange might look like instead of the federal government seizing control of health care and Medicaid in the state. Without the legislation, the state would have no choice but to cede control to the Federal Government.

Senate Bill 693, authored by Senator and Health Policy Committee Chairman Jim Marleau, represents a first step in the process set forth by PPACA and contains provisions that allows the exchange to sunset if the Federal legislation is overturned in the courts. Under the PPACA, states must implement a health insurance exchange by Jan. 1, 2014, or else the federal government will step in and run one.

The bill would create the MiHealth Marketplace, a nonprofit entity that will create a clearinghouse for health plans to submit their products for those who don’t get health insurance through their employer. Participation would be available to every resident, but would be voluntary.

Senate Resolution 95, which affirms support for Attorney General Bill Schuette’s lawsuit against the health care law, was also approved by the Senate. The Resolution is running parallel to Senate Bill 693 and states that the ACA “violates the U.S. Constitution, including the Ninth and Tenth Amendments and the constitutional principles of federalism and dual sovereignty on which this nation was founded.”

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