Yes, you read the headline correctly.
Really, that’s the only explanation for the Republican-controlled Legislature failing to meet today’s deadline to partner with the federal government in setting up a health insurance exchange in Michigan. If it had met today’s deadline, Michigan would have a say over setting up the federally-funded exchange, a federally-mandated network authorized by Obamacare to allow consumers to more easily shop for health insurance.
Now, it will be set up entirely by the feds. And Michigan will have no voice in it.
Why is this a big deal? It’s all about bringing sanity to a confusing, maddening health insurance market in America. Many workers must chose from two health policies as part of their employer-provider coverage, and that choice is maddening enough. I typically get a major headache within two minutes of trying to compare the two policies side-by-side to figure out which one better suits my needs.
Now multiply that confusion by a thousand, as you consider the poor soul who must navigate a private health insurance market with several dozens of providers and policies – some with misleading pricing points.
Michigan’s needs, of course, are different from Arkansas, and residents here would have been well served by leaders who tailored an exchange for them. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder endorsed this approach.
In explaining today's failure by the Michigan Senate to partner with the feds, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said the Republican caucus felt the feds weren't prepared to set up the exchange in Michigan.
Actually, the feds have been planning exchanges with great care since the legislation was passed in 2010. One might argue it is Michigan Republicans who aren't prepared for the inevitable.