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Approval Of Blue Cross Overhaul Not Quelling Debate Over Its Possible Effects

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Supporters of a plan to overhaul Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan are praising state lawmakers for passing the measure. Some critics say more work needs to be done.   

Blue Cross officials say can now move forward with plans to participate in an upcoming healthcare exchange. Under the federal Affordable Care Act, states must regulate all insurers the same way. The overhaul lets Blue Cross play by the same rules as its competitors, while ending its tax-exempt status.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette has criticized the legislation for not doing enough to protect seniors. He says rates for a program that covers costs Medicare doesn’t could skyrocket a few years down the road.

Joy Yearout is a spokesperson for the Attorney General.

“Potentially, hundreds of thousands of seniors could face an immediate 66% rate increase," she explains. "And it’s something that is very concerning for him.”

The Attorney General wants state lawmakers to continue discussions about how to protect the program.

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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