Legislation watch
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Capitol Building

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.

Comments

And while we're at it ...  by Jennybegone on January 26, 2008 
How about you and your legislature doing much more to try to bring real jobs back to Michigan, and help create a diversified economy that isn't so dependent on one industry.

Can you do that, moleface, so we can have a brighter future so we don't have to go on Medicaid or made to feel like some kind of welfare trash?

Amen  by Jennybegone on January 26, 2008 
We need jobs, and price controls in the health care system. The reason private insurance keeps going up is because the cost of medicine and medical equipment keeps going up. Why is it so much more expensive in the US than in other countries such as Canada for prescription drugs and other treatments? You see, the cost of medical care is what needs to be reigned in. The whole health care bureaucracy is bloated way out of control. The industry itself should be blamed for this, and like oil companies, should be subject to some kind of windfall profits tax, with the proceeds for that going to help finance health insurance for those who may otherwise not get it. This is not socialization, but an effort to wake up the health care industry to the need to either keep their costs down, or start having to pay this sort of tax.

I know it is a new tax, and many people won't like it, but some taxes are necessary, and when there is a windfall, it should be subject to a tax. What I'm proposing is a way for funding to be available so people can get their insurance without having to necessarily resort to Medicaid. This is meant to be a way to help people who may otherwise not have private insurance to be able to get it.

Cynical dishonesty of Michigan Health Care Security Campaign  by Anonymous Citizen on January 20, 2008 
Contrast it's cynically tactical use of dishonest weasel-words like "affordable," "comprehensive" and "cost control" with this "Medical Choice for Arizona" initiative language:

"The right of citizens to enter into private contracts with health care providers for health care services shall not be infringed. No law shall be enacted requiring any citizen, or any class of citizens, to participate in any state sponsored health care system or plan."


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