Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), each state is required to establish a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can compare policies and premiums, and buy insurance with a government subsidy, if available. Whether Michigan decides to move ahead with a state-federal partnership exchange, as Governor Snyder has announced, or create its own exchange, taking advantage of the federal grant is critical for setting up an Internet-based site that must be properly functioning for consumer use by Jan. 1, 2014.
Jennifer Kluge, President and CEO of both organizations pointed out that if Michigan does not initiate its own exchange program according to the PPACA schedule, the state will be forced into a mandated federal exchange program, losing any hope of local control. “Michigan must retain at least some power over what happens with our health care, regardless of political considerations,”
Bonnie Bochniak, vice president of government relations for MBPA and MFBA added, “We understand that the $9.8 million in federal grant monies in no way ties our state to any permanent health care decisions; it merely gives us revenue to begin technical compliance, while saving our general fund dollars.”
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Based in Warren, Mich., the MBPA is the largest business organization of small to medium-sized businesses in Michigan, representing more than 20,000 members who employ over 160,0000 persons. Members include attorneys, physicians, architects, accountants, construction companies, banks, retail, wholesalers, manufacturers and the like. Member businesses receive numerous benefits including free legal and financial consultations;