Michigan Chamber of Commerce Responds to Governor's Special Message on Health Care

LANSING, Mich., Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued today by Rich Studley, President and CEO, Jim Holcomb, Senior Vice President of Business Advocacy and Associate General Counsel, and Wendy Block, Director of Health Policy and Human Resources for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, in response to Governor Snyder's special health care message.

Statement from Rich Studley:

"While we share the Governor's interest in wellness and personal responsibility and will look for parts of this message to support, we are very disappointed and strongly opposed to the call for costly new health care mandates."

"In a message styled to support lowering costs and improving health, the Administration chose to propose an action that will certainly increase costs and remove choice. The Michigan Chamber supports market-driven solutions to health care that allow employers and employees to decide what coverage they want and can afford, not a big government approach where these questions are answered in the legislative and political arena with a one-size-fits-all approach."

Statement from Jim Holcomb:

"Across the state, employers and individuals were angry at the passage of Obamacare and its focus on more government control and top-down mandates.  Make no mistake: Support for more health care mandates is tantamount to adopting the same government control and cost-shifting at the heart of Obamacare."

"Lansing has the chance to benefit from the lessons learned during the federal health care reform debate and focus on a Michigan model of more consumer choice and control. Michigan lawmakers who advocate for more mandated health insurance benefits are embracing more of the same failed federal policies."

Statement from Wendy Block

"For the first several months of this session, the Administration and Legislature have worked together to find common sense solutions to complex problems in order to foster job growth by improving the economic and regulatory climate in Michigan. Passage of more health care mandates would directly contradict other public policy efforts to limit special treatment, encourage choice in the marketplace, reduce governmental intervention in the workplace and eliminate government mandates."  

"Rather than just saying 'no,' and in the spirit of cooperation, the Michigan Chamber supports a common sense compromise that would require insurance companies to offer coverage for autism spectrum disorders if those purchasing policies want the option to purchase it. This type of approach ensures that those paying the bill have the ability to make the decision of how best to allocate scarce financial resources -- free of governmental intervention into decision making processes that belong in the hands of the purchaser."

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is a statewide business organization representing approximately 6,800 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce. The Michigan Chamber represents businesses of every size and type in all 83 counties of the state. The Chamber was established in 1959 to be an advocate for Michigan's job providers in the legislative, political and legal process. It is one of only four state chambers of commerce in the nation accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

SOURCE Michigan Chamber of Commerce

For further information: Rich Studley, Jim Holcomb or Wendy Block, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, +1-517-371-2100