Consumers Put at Risk as Legislature Fails to Authorize Healthcare Exchange Planning
Coalition Urges House to Stop Playing Politics and Begin Planning for the Development of MiHealth Marketplace
LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan state house has removed funding in a supplemental appropriation bill that would have allowed Michigan to accept a $9.8 million federal grant to continue the planning and development of the MiHealth Marketplace. The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires each state to create, by 2014, a health exchange to function as an online marketplace where individuals and small businesses can review plans and purchase and enroll in health coverage. The federal government will create exchanges for states that fail to comply with the law. Gov. Snyder wants Michigan to create its own exchange and avoid federal intervention.
“Once again we see lawmakers pandering to partisan extremists rather than engaging in the hard work of developing a healthcare marketplace that will reduce costs and improve access for Michigan consumers,” comments Don Hazaert, director of Michigan Consumers for Healthcare. “Michigan is being provided the rare opportunity to use federal grant money to develop a consumer-friendly healthcare exchange that works for individuals and small businesses alike, but lawmakers are standing in the way of that progress simply to make partisan points.”
Michigan will return nearly $10 million in federal grants because the state Legislature apparently will fail to give authority to expend the grant funds. In Michigan, the Legislature must grant authority to individual state agencies through the appropriations process in order for them to expend federal and state funds.
The MCH coalition has more than 100 member organizations – including AARP of Michigan, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Detroit Wayne County Health Authority, Disability Network/Michigan, Michigan Minority Health Coalition and Michigan Universal Healthcare Access Network — dedicated to advocating on behalf of the healthcare consumer.
For more information about MCH, go online to http://consumersforhealthcare.org. Follow the coalition on Twitter (@michealthcare), like the coalition’s Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/consumersforhealthcare) and subscribe to the coaliton’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/consumershealthcare).