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State House Panel Votes To Accept Federal Dollars To Set Up Healthcare Exchange


State lawmakers are a step closer to establishing a state web site where people can shop for health insurance.

A House panel approved the plan Wednesday.

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

Lawmakers are weighing whether to accept more than 30 million dollars from Washington. That money would be used to set up a healthcare exchange through a partnership with the federal government.

Many Republicans in Lansing have been uneasy about the idea of setting up any kind of exchange – which is required under the federal healthcare law.

But House Appropriations Chair Joe Haveman says it’s time to be realistic.

“This is a mistake for our country,"  he says.  "Nevertheless, it is the law. And let’s implement the law in the best way we can for Michigan taxpayers.”

Haveman says the alternative is to give all control of the exchange to the federal government.

The bill now goes to the House floor.

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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