Health insurance comparison plan is voted down in Lansing

A Michigan House panel has rejected a proposal to create a state-run online market where people can compare and buy health insurance plans.

The House Health Policy Committee defeated the health exchange legislation Thursday by a 9-5 vote, and two members abstained. The state Senate approved a bill but the House delayed action because its Republican majority had opposed President Barack Obama's federal health care act.

With President Obama's re-election, GOP leaders have acknowledged the president's health care plan will move forward and a decision must be made about the insurance exchanges that are part of the plan.

Attorney General Bill Schuette issued the following statement today regarding the announcement that the legislation will not move forward:

"I applaud and appreciate Speaker Bolger's wise decision to halt the vote on implementation of a state-run health insurance exchange. I have always had grave concerns about establishing a health care exchange. This is an extremely complex issue. In my discussions with other attorneys general and legal experts, we agree that many unanswered questions still remain, especially with regard to future costs to Michigan taxpayers and the practical and legal impact of looming federal mandates."

Gov. Rick Snyder prefers a state-run program but his administration applied for a federal grant as a first step toward the fallback position of teaming with the federal department.