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Michigan to go with federal health exchange, for now


Tuesday night's election results not only offered President Barack Obama a second chance to get the economy moving, it also allowed his signature policy to stay in tact.

Even though the Affordable Care Act - aka Obamacare -  was modeled after Romney's own health care law in Massachusetts, the former Republican challenger vowed to begin efforts to repeal the bill his first day on the job.

Romney's presidential bid wasn't the only challenge to Obamacare. This summer the Supreme Court was charged with assessing the legality of Obama's sweeping overhaul of the health care system.  The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the individual mandate was legal, but that states reserved the right to opt out of expanding Medicaid.

Currently 17 states have agreed to create their own health insurance markets - or exchanges - for the uninsured. Eleven states have chosen not to create state-run exchanges. States have until Friday Nov. 16th to inform the federal government of their plans. 

Governor Rick Snyder had hoped to create a state-run exchange that would give Michigan more flexibility in how the exchange operated, but the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives weren't able to reach a consensus, forcing Snyder to take preliminary steps to create a joint partnership with the federal government before the deadline. The move may make him unpopular among Republicans, but he insists it was the only avenue available.

Snyder spoke with the Detroit News earlier this week, clarifying his position on the matter.

"If there is an opportunity to revisit a state health exchanges I would encourage the House to look at that."

If the House does revisit the state-run exchange option, Snyder could implement it at any time. But with only 14 months until Americans start enrolling in exchange programs, the federal partnership seems like the most feasible option at this time.

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