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State Senate Unanimously Passes Blue Cross Overhaul Without Abortion Language

Blue Cross

For the third time in four months, the state Senate has approved a plan to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer.

Senators voted unanimously in favor of the measure Thursday.

The Michigan Public Radio Network's Jake Neher has more.

Letting Blue Cross become a non-profit mutual company was a top priority for Governor Rick Snyder late last year. But he says he was forced to veto the legislation because lawmakers tacked on a controversial abortion provision at the last minute.

Now that language is gone, and the bills seem to have more support in the Legislature than ever.

Bill sponsor Senator Joe Hune says even he wasn’t expecting it to pass unanimously in his chamber.

“It was an absolute shock,"  he says.  "And it’s good for Michigan, it’s good for consumers, and it was the right thing to do.”

The bills will probably lose some momentum in the state House, which has more than two-dozen new members.

Some critics of the plan say it could lead to higher insurance rates, especially for some seniors on Medicare.

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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