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Governor, House leader split on timing of health coverage exchanges

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – The US Supreme Court's decision to hear a challenge to the federal Affordable Care Act has Republicans in Lansing divided on whether to adopt a state mandate in the law. It requires states to create health coverage exchanges for people and business owners to comparison shop online for insurance. It's become a point of controversy between the governor and the state's legislative Republicans.

Republican Governor Rick Snyder says the health care exchanges are a good idea that will benefit businesses and consumers regardless of how the Supreme Court rules. The governor says he's also afraid Michigan would be thrown into a federally designed system if the Legislature does not act quickly.

"Before the end of the year would be best in terms of being prepared," Snyder says.

But Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger says he's in no hurry, and would rather wait for the Supreme Court to decide one way or the other.

"I don't plan to see the House to act until or unless we have to act," Bolger says.

Bolger says he, like many Republicans, believes the federal law is unconstitutional and is likely to be struck down by the nation's highest court. A decision is not expected before next summer.

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