Health insurance exchange wins Bolger's support

6:42 PM, Nov 16, 2012   |    comments
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  • AP photo of doctor with child.
  • Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP/WZZM) -- Gov. Rick Snyder has gained the endorsement of a key legislative leader in his push to create a state-run marketplace where Michigan residents without health insurance can shop for private coverage.

Under President Obama's health care plan, each state must decide whether to operate its own insurance exchange, let the federal government do it, or form a partnership in which state and federal agencies would play different roles.

Gov. Snyder favors a state-based program, which the state Senate has endorsed. But the House has refused to vote on the matter because its Republican majority opposes the Obama approach.

On Friday, House Speaker Jase Bolger said a state exchange is preferable to the other two alternatives. The House will consider the matter when it reconvenes this month.

Friday was to have been the deadline for state's to decide if they would set up their own exchanges, but the federal government has just extended that deadline to December 14.  

At a Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Health Care Summit Friday, the exchange and other aspects of the Affordable Care Act were discussed by business leaders.  

Former Congressman Joe Schwarz, who now heads the Michigan Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease was among the speakers. 

"They're pretty well ready to go with the plan and I think the legislature will take their cue from the governor," said Schwarz, "and we will in fact have an exchange set up in Michigan hopefully within the next three or four months."

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