House Panel Continues to Ponder Next Action on Health Coverage

Jul 31, 2012

Another day of hearings by two state House committees have wrapped up on Michigan’s next step now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the federal healthcare law. Michigan is facing some deadlines to move ahead with an online exchange for people to shop for health coverage.

Governor Rick Snyder has been pushing for quick action on the exchanges. He says the alternative is Michigan loses federal planning grants and could be pushed into a more-expensive federal bureaucracy. Many Republicans want to wait until after the November elections to see if there’s a chance the law might be repealed.

But waiting might not be a good idea, says Republican state Representative Al Psholka.  He chairs the budget subcommittee that will have to fund the exchanges.

“I’m not sure if that’s an option," he says. "I think we’ve got to look at the whole range of things that are going on and I think we just heard today there are some deadlines. Can those deadlines be moved?”

Many of the experts who testified said delay could mean Michigan consumers and businesses will pay more for coverage than they would if the state meets the federal deadlines.