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Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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2007 Senate Bill 278: Establish universal health insurance-type system
  1. Introduced by Sen. Tom George (R) on February 27, 2007, to establish a universal health insurance type system that would subsidize the acquisition of health insurance by uninsured individuals who earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The bill would create an "insurance exchange" where individuals, and employees of small employers (fewer than 50 workers) that meet certain conditions, could buy various approved health coverage plans from various providers. All plans in this Michigan Helping Ensure Affordable and Reliable Treatment (MI HEART) system would have to include “wellness” provisions creating incentives for healthy behavior. At least one plan would have to offer catastrophic coverage only with a high deductible. The plans would be exempt from particular coverage mandates that have been imposed on regular health insurance over the years. The bill does not include any employer mandates or provider taxes. It does not require every Michigan citizen to acquire health insurance. A “MI HEART” fund would be created to receive premium payments and money from other sources to be used to pay for the plan’s subsidies. Establishment of the program is contingent on securing federal matching funds.
    • Referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee on February 27, 2007.
      • Reported in the Senate on May 8, 2007, with the recommendation that the substitute (S-2) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the Senate on October 3, 2007, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that revises details but does not change the substance of the bill as previously described. The substitute passed by voice vote in the Senate on October 3, 2007.
  2. Passed 33 to 0 in the Senate on October 4, 2007, to create a plan that would subsidize the acquisition of health insurance by uninsured individuals who earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The bill would create an "insurance exchange" (or "connector") where individuals, and employees of small employers (fewer than 50 workers) that meet certain conditions could buy various approved health coverage plans from various providers. All plans in this "Michigan Helping Ensure Affordable and Reliable Treatment" (MI HEART) system would have to be approved by a central board and would have to include “wellness” provisions creating incentives for healthy behavior. At least one plan would have to offer catastrophic coverage only with a high deductible. The plans would be exempt from some of the coverage mandates that have been imposed on regular health insurance over the years. The bill does not include any individual insurance, mandates, employer mandates or provider taxes. A “MI HEART” fund would be created to receive premium payments and money from other sources to be used to pay for the plan’s subsidies. Establishment of the program is contingent on securing federal matching funds.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the House on October 9, 2007.
    • Referred to the House Health Policy Committee on October 9, 2007.

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