Marleau bill would enable Michigan to enter health care compact, protect health system

LANSING—State Sen. Jim Marleau introduced legislation on Thursday that would help protect the state’s health care system by enabling Michigan, not the federal government, to control how the state spends money on health care.

Senate Bill 973 would allow Michigan to enter into an interstate Health Care Compact (HCC), which would return control of health care to the states in the compact.

“Michigan must manage its own health care dollars. We cannot be burdened by intrusive bureaucracy and regulation from the federal government,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “By rejecting the ‘one size fits all’ approach for federal health care reform and letting states decide how to best serve their residents, the compact will allow for a more efficient and effective system.”

The HCC would be an agreement between two or more member states to restore to those states the responsibility and authority over their health care programs. The compact, which would require U.S. congressional approval, would allow a member state to suspend operation of any federal laws, rules and regulations that are inconsistent with the laws and regulations of that state.

Sen. Goeff Hansen is a co-sponsor of SB 973 and sponsor of Senate Resolution 120, which expresses support to the U.S. Congress for the Health Care Compact.

“Michigan should have a say on how funds are spent on health care in the state, not the federal government,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “This vital measure will ensure that our health care system is protected. I fully support this bill along with my resolution and encourage my colleagues to act quickly.”

Marleau said his measure would not include health care programs for veterans and Native Americans, which would remain with the federal government.

SB 973 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy.