On December 18, 2009, Governor Granholm signed a smoking ban bill into law. This new law, called the Dr. Ron Davis Law, will be put into action on May 1, 2010. The Dr. Ron Davis Law will officially ban smoking throughout the state of Michigan. Smoking will be banned in all public places including workplaces, restaurants, and bars. This law even goes as far as to ban smoking on the patios of restaurants.
As Autumn starts showing its’ colors, literally, all of the usual fall activities join in, leaf-raking, chilly breezes, football games, and, of course, flu season. This year, however, flu season is anything but usual. This year’s flu season has been brought to the forefront of media and public interest due to the H1N1 strain of the influenza virus, or more commonly, the swine flu. H1N1 first appeared early in April of this year, and is the reported cause of close to 3,000 deaths and 26,000 hospitalizations between August 30th and October 24th.
8. What are one or two recent (or previous major) successes you have had in influencing policy?
The defeat of legislation proposed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan that would have changed the way that individual health care insurance policies were offered in Michigan. In December of 2008, we worked with a coalition that defeated the bills that we felt would make the cost of health care unaffordable for many.
Recent passage (in the House) of the Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Act. While the bills have yet to be sent to the governor for her signature, we supported a package of bills that would allow for a mediation process for consumers who are in danger of losing their home to foreclosure.
Following President Obama’s signing of the massive federal stimulus bill on February 17, 2009, the American Hospital Association released their breakdown of the portions of the ARRA that provide money for health care programs.
During the course of this legislative session, I will use this blog to highlight legislation and bills that have implications in health care policy. All of these bills will not necessarily be viable pieces of legislation…. i.e. the bill is not likely to pass the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as being signed by the governor. I encourage you to check this blog on a regular basis and I will make an attempt to update this blog as often as possible.
Michigan Association of Local Public Health Interview with Executive Director Meghan Swain
Written by Alison Swain
Thursday, 25 April 2013 18:32
Tuesday, 9 April 2013 Interview conducted by Alison Swain via phone at 5:30PM on Wednesday, 3 April 2013
Q: Can you tell me a little about the Michigan Association of Local Public Health? What are some of your goals? A: Well the Michigan Association of Local Public Health is a statewide association representing the 45 local public health departments in Michigan. Our Mission is to support local public health departments in their role protecting and serving the local communities but also serving their governing boards as well. Some health departments are governed by county commissioners, single county health departments but then we have multiple county health departments where there are still commissioners that represent certain counties but come together as what's described as a board of health.
When the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was first passed into a law, it was praised by many due to the thinking that it would assist middle class in finding reliable and affordable health insurance. One of the most popular features of Obamacare was that starting in 2014 insurance companies would no longer be able to deny people coverage due to preexisting conditions. But that was not the only positive aspect of Obamacare that excited many people. Insurance companies would now be required to prove that they are spending between 80 to 85% of their premiums on coverage or else return the money to their consumers. College students would also receive the benefit of staying on their parents' insurance until they reach the age of 26 which would lead to a record drop in uninsured young people. Obamacare also started the provision that seniors no longer had to pay the coverage gap between their deductible and yearly limit causing seniors to have to pay less for prescriptions. While these aspects used to be praised, many insurers, consumers, and legislative officials are starting to question the effectiveness of these provisions especially since insurance premiums are on the rise-the opposite of what President Obama was aiming to do with the passing of Obamacare.
Current Standings of Obamacare Implementation: A State Comparison
Written by Rachel Hatt
Monday, 18 March 2013 23:12
While Michigan is on the path to expand Medicaid and to implement a partnership health exchange system under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), a recent report has shown that many states are behind on passing the most fundamental PPACA consumer protections. It has been found that only eleven states and the District of Colombia have passed laws needed for the state governments to be able to implement the new laws. The other thirty-nine states, Michigan being one of them, are limiting their ability to enforce the laws, and they will not be able to ensure that consumers are receiving their full protections under the law. If states do not change their insurance regulation rules by the time the federal rules go into effect by next January, the federal government may have more work on their hands than initially expected. The federal government may have to step in and enforce state actions if the states do not show progress in passing the necessary laws needed to enforce the laws themselves. Besides implementing these necessary laws, states also have to make decisions on their state-specific health insurance exchange and whether or not they want to expand Medicaid.
The Current Standings of the Implementation of Obamacare in Michigan
Written by Rachel Hatt
Monday, 18 March 2013 23:07
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as Obamacare, is causing many decisions to be debated by Michigan's legislature. Currently, the implementation of Michigan's health exchange is on the table along with whether or not Michigan will decide to expand their Medicaid program. Under the PPACA, which was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2012, all states are required to have their own health insurance exchange. States can either decide to design and operate their own exchange or hand the duties over to the federal government. Along with this, states also have to decide whether or not they want to expand their Medicaid program. While Governor Rick Snyder has favored a state-run health insurance exchange and a Medicaid expansion, he is still having trouble gaining support from conservatives.
Under Barack Obama's new health care law, each state is required to decide whether or not to operate its own insurance exchange system. If a state chooses to not set up their own system for an exchange, then the job is handed over to the federal government. These exchanges can be compared to websites like "Orbitz." People will be able to compares prices and the quality of different plans easily through these exchanges. Proponents say these exchanges will also lower costs of plans due to an increased competition among private insurance plans. November 16 was the deadline for the states to declare their intentions of providing their own state exchange, but now states have until December 14 to submit blueprints for their actual designs. States that are going to put in place a "partnership exchange," or who will share the responsibility of the exchange with the federal government, have until February 15 to turn in their blueprints.
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.
The thoughts, opinions, and positions represented herein are solely those of the participating students and in no way represent an official position or policy recommendation of Michigan State University.