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    The recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (Obama's health care reform package) has clearly altered the policy and political landscape across the entire nation. While it remains to be seen how deep the long-term implications will affect the nation, it is clear that state governments are already taking action. The reform act will undoubtedly have some immediate impact on state governments. Such short-term implications include; expansion of the amount of persons covered, increased insurance benefits and rebates on prescription drugs. Clearly, states will need to deal with the policy changes in one-way or another, which is demonstrated by the different actions taken by numerous state governments. Many states with Republican Attorney Generals have chosen to fight the legislation, while others states have already begun to embrace the changes.
    . Governor Granholm has directed Michigan into the path of accepting the new health care reform and addressing the issues that arise from it. Although the Governor believes that the health care reform will benefit the citizens of Michigan, she also acknowledges that action is required by the state government to ensure this (Office of the Governor). Governor Granholm issued Executive Order (EO 2010-4) to create the "Health Insurance Reform Coordinating Council." Democrat governors in other states, such as Maryland and Oregon, have also implemented similar councils for the reform package (Foxnews). The executive order also created the "Office of Health Insurance Consumer Assistance," which will be included the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR)

    The new Coordinating Council will be overseen by the director of the Department of Community Health and will also include several other members from other state departments. It is designed to analyze the new changes that will be enacted through the reform, and how they will affect Michigan. The goals of the council according to the governor's office include, "enhancing access to health care, reduction of costs and improving the quality of health care in Michigan" (Office of the Governor). Essentially the new council will interpret the changes and figure out how to best implement them in Michigan.

    The Office of Health Insurance Consumer Assistance will deal with details specifically regarding the inevitable compliance issues and complaints with new laws regarding insurance. As the employers and the governments will have new regulations, as well as new criteria to meet, there are bound to be issues arising between consumers and those providing insurance. The new office is designed to interact with constituent concerns specifically related to the new federal legislature. The long history of constituent complaints regarding Medicaid will likely carry over to the new federal health care reform, as there will be complaints over uncovered bills and questions regarding coverage, since the state government will now be handling insurance issues on a greater scale.

    Though some states are embracing the health care reform, this cannot be said to be universally true. Many states with Republican Attorney Generals (including Mike Cox of Michigan) have declared that they will fight the new Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, as they believe it is unconstitutional for the Federal government to mandate that all Americans must possess health insurance. The lawsuit was originally started by the Attorney General of Florida on March 23, but has now expanded in participants, including 18 different states (Fletcher). Both the White House and legal experts believe that the lawsuit will be unsuccessful, but it remains to be seen what the end result will be.

    Though it can be debated how much the Executive Order issued by Governor Granholm or the lawsuit filed by the attorney generals will affect the citizens of Michigan, there can be no doubt that the President's Health Care act has changed the state of Michigan and the country. The changes will most likely remain in effect, and they will change how many are insured and deal with medical issues. If the lawsuit is successful, it will be one of the most prolific challenges of federal government power ever, inevitably affecting all Americans across the country.

     

    Works Cited:
    "Governor Granholm Issues Executive Order Implementing Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act." State of Michigan. Office of the Governor, 31 MAR 2010. Web. 19 Apr 2010. <http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168--234535--,00.html>.

    Fox News.Com, . "Some States Already Implementing Health Care Overhaul." Fox News 26 Mar 2010: n. pag. Web. 19 Apr 2010.

    Fletcher, Pascal. "5 More States Join Lawsuit Against New Healthcare Law." Insurance Journal 9 Apr 2010: n. pag. Web. 19 Apr 2010. <http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2010/04/08/108838.htm>.

     

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    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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