Joint Senate panel hears testimony on a Michigan health insurance exchange

LANSING–The Senate Health Policy and Insurance committees held a joint hearing Wednesday on the importance of Michigan establishing its own health insurance exchange.

Health Policy Chairman Sen. Jim Marleau said if Michigan does not establish its own exchange within the necessary time line, the federal government will forcibly create an exchange within the state.

“We cannot allow the federal government to control our health care by setting up our insurance exchange,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion.

The panel heard testimony from several groups and individuals, including Public Sector Consultants President Peter Pratt. Pratt reported on a workgroup of health care stakeholders and other groups representing a combination of business interests and consumer advocacy groups.

All groups testified that Michigan needs to take initiative to establish an exchange unique to its business and residents.

“We have to protect Michigan’s health care system, which is one of the best in the world,” Marleau said. “Michigan residents deserve to determine their future.”