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Blue Cross Officials Say Overhaul Must Pass Before End Of The Year

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan officials say time is running out for state lawmakers to pass a proposed overhaul of the company.   

The issue is whether Blue Cross will have time to join a healthcare exchange, required by the federal Affordable Care Act. The exchange would allow people to compare and shop for coverage plans.

Blue Cross would not be able to join the exchange the way it’s currently regulated by the state. But legislation to lift some of those regulations would change that.

Mark Cook of Blue Cross says lawmakers need to resolve the issue before the end of the year.

“We’re very concerned that, if we don’t have some regulatory certainty going forward, our ability to be on that exchange is in danger," he says. "So we do believe a time frame is important.”

But opponents of the overhaul say it’s too sweeping to push through so quickly.

The state Senate passed the measure last month. Leaders in the House hope to move the bill soon.

Jake Neher is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He covers the State Legislature and other political events in Lansing.
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