Michigan Republicans, Obamacare, Republican-Fail — November 22, 2013 at 11:59 am

Republican Mike Shirkey working hard to solve an Obamacare problem that literally does not exist


Non-problem: solved!

Michigan Republican Represenative Mike Shirkey introduced House Bill 4044 last January. The bill’s intent is to ensure that companies selling health insurance on the Michigan health care exchange that was made possible by the Affordable Care Act can sell insurance off the exchange as well.

Here’s the bill in full:

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, an insurer or a health maintenance organization that is authorized under this act to offer and sell disability insurance or health maintenance organization contracts in this state shall not be required to offer and sell its products only through an exchange created in this state for the purposes described in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, as amended by the health care and education reconciliation act of 2010, Public Law 111-152.

Sounds reasonable, right?

Here’s the thing: thanks to Michigan Republicans, Michigan doesn’t HAVE a state health insurance exchange!

It’s literally a bill that is looking high and low, far and wide for a problem to solve.

Earlier this month, Shirkey tried to get it passed out of the Insurance committee where he apparently does not have the votes.

Michigan Republicans: working hard to solve problems that don’t exist. And they get paid to do this with our tax money.

[CC Facepalm image credit: Cesar Astudillo | Flickr]

  • Kelly

    There is no real difference between a state exchange and a federal exchange, it is kind of a mess that carries some PR significance, and some federal grant money implications, but that is the majority of it. Basically, if an “exchange” is operating in the state (and one is here in MI), it is called a “Michigan exchange”, and legally there is not much of a distinction between a “Michigan exchange” that is further designated as a state exchange, a federal exchange, or whatever. This law would seem to basically say that the federal government could not mandate insurance sales requirements outside an exchange just because it is partially involved with an exchange operating in the state (and they will be involved to some degree regardless, this is national healthcare after all, the states are not merely pass through agents). Whether such a bill would hold any legal water if the federal govt tried to trump it is another matter, but as a premise, it makes some sense if you look at what is going on in other places and you want to send a signal that you are not moving towards a single payer model. Insurance companies and people need SOME certainty right now regarding the ACA and healthcare insurance in general, and this bill seems aimed at that.

    • I’m sorry but this is absolutely incorrect. We do not had a state exchange so people must go through healthcare.gov. In California, for example, they go through Covered California (http://coveredca.com). In New York, they go through NY State of Health (http://nystateofhealth.ny.gov).
      In fact, if you live in a state that has it’s own exchange, healthcare.gov directs you to them as the first you take.
      The state exchanges had almost none of the launch snafus that the federal exchange did.
      Also, your analysis of how this bill pertains to the federal exchange is incorrect. This is decidedly NOT “national healthcare” it’s simply a government sponsored marketplace for private insurance companies (or nonprofits like the Blues) that also facilitates accessing the federal subsidies. The question at hand is who manages that infrastructure. Michigan Republicans chose to let the federal government do it for them.
      Please stop spreading incorrect information. There is already plenty to go around.