LANSING – House Democratic Floor Leader Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek), Rep. Alberta Tinsley-Talabi (D-Detroit), and Rep.-Elect Andy Schor (D-Lansing) today called on Health Policy Committee Chair Rep. Gail Haines (R-Waterford) not to wait any longer to hold hearings on Senate Bill 693, which would create the Michigan Health Care Exchange.

“After stalling for months and using the presidential election as an excuse, Rep. Haines and the House leadership now realize that we need to move on creating a Michigan Health Care Exchange, but they still aren’t moving fast enough,” said Segal. “Although the federal deadlines have now been extended, we still need to allow for committee testimony and debate, discussion and passage on the House floor, and further action by the Senate if needed. We need to take control of our future under the Affordable Care Act and create our own exchange.”

The federal government has extended the deadline for states to first say if they will submit their own plans, and then to write their plans for a state health care exchange and then submit them to the federal government. The Senate passed legislation on this in November 2011, and the bill has sat in the House Health Policy Committee ever since. Rep. Segal, in addition to Governor Rick Snyder, had called on Republicans to move on the exchange this past August, but House Republicans chose not to act. Segal, Tinsley-Talabi, and Schor want Michigan to take control of this process because Michigan residents will be best served through a state-created exchange.

“The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, and it goes without question that Michigan officials are in the best position to create a health exchange for our citizens,” said Tinsley-Talabi. “If we wait any longer for hearings and discussion then we are short-changing ourselves and Michigan residents. We need to start now and have a serious discussion on this very important issue.”

“Delaying the discussion and decision on a health care exchange will only hurt our citizens, who will wait longer for the care they need. Without this exchange, it will be harder for resources like the Ingham Health Plan to provide the care that our working uninsured families need,” said Rep.-Elect Schor. “We need to create our own Michigan exchange and not rely on federal bureaucrats to do the job, and we can’t afford to turn back these necessary dollars that we would get from the federal government to create this exchange. We know what’s best for Michigan, and we owe it to our residents to not leave this important task until the last possible minute.”