Michigan Senate advances bills to add Obamacare protections to state law

By Michigan Advance

October 11, 2023

BY KYLE DAVIDSON, MICHIGAN ADVANCE

LANSING—The Michigan State Senate on Monday voted to advance a set of bills that would bring aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into state law and prevent insurers from discriminating against individuals based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

In addition to expanding discrimination protections, House Bills 46194623 would bring key consumer protections from the Affordable Care Act into state law. This includes prohibiting providers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions, allowing dependents to remain on a parent’s insurance until age 26, and restricting annual or lifetime limits on benefits alongside other requirements for providers.

During her “What’s Next” address in August, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called on lawmakers to bring aspects of the ACA into state law to reduce the cost of health care in the state.

Ahead of the votes on the bills, state Sen. Mark Huizenga (R-Walker) explained his vote against the policies, saying they could create inconsistencies at the state level or open the state up to action from federal regulators should the national law change.

“I came here to solve problems like addressing high costs for health care and insurance. And I believe we can work in a bipartisan manner to achieve these goals without pursuing these duplicative measures that have no meaningful impact on current policy,” Huizenga said.

While House Bills 4619, 4621, 4622 and 4623 passed without amendment, Sen. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) introduced a substitute for House Bill 4620 changing the section the bill would add to the state’s insurance code.

The bills passed without amendment will head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk, while House Bill 4620 will return for further consideration.

READ MORE: Dems to Stop Big Pharma From Gouging Michiganders for Drugs

This coverage was republished from Michigan Advance pursuant to a Creative Commons license. 

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