Radio Made in Michigan
5:47 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

State Senate Unanimously Passes Blue Cross Overhaul Without Abortion Language

For the third time in four months, the state Senate has approved a plan to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer.

Credit Blue Cross

Senators voted unanimously in favor of the measure Thursday.

The Michigan Public Radio Network's Jake Neher has more.

Letting Blue Cross become a non-profit mutual company was a top priority for Governor Rick Snyder late last year. But he says he was forced to veto the legislation because lawmakers tacked on a controversial abortion provision at the last minute.

Now that language is gone, and the bills seem to have more support in the Legislature than ever.

Bill sponsor Senator Joe Hune says even he wasn’t expecting it to pass unanimously in his chamber.

“It was an absolute shock,"  he says.  "And it’s good for Michigan, it’s good for consumers, and it was the right thing to do.”

The bills will probably lose some momentum in the state House, which has more than two-dozen new members.

Some critics of the plan say it could lead to higher insurance rates, especially for some seniors on Medicare.

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