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Michigan likely to miss deadline on federal healthcare law

Michigan House Republicans

Michigan is not likely to meet a Friday deadline to tell the Obama administration whether the state will operate its own insurance exchange under the federal healthcare law.

The exchange is where businesses and individuals will shop online for coverage.

A key Republican decision-maker says she won’t be pushed by federal deadlines without first getting more questions answered.

State Representative Gail Haines chairs the House Health Policy Committee. Haines said she still doesn’t know if Michigan is better off operating its own exchange – or joining a federal system.   

“What would the difference be in the rules? What would we gain? Which one would be better? Now, I lean toward having a state exchange and I think a lot of us do. But we still don’t know exactly what either one would look like,” said Haines.

State House Republicans at first said they would wait for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the health care law, and then on the results of the November election.

Haines says she is not too concerned about Friday because the Obama administration has already moved many of the law’s deadlines.

Governor Rick Snyder and many business and human services organizations say they want a Michigan-based exchange.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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