KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Advocates Continue To Push For Michigan To Opt Out Of Federal Health Law Despite Setback

The Detroit News: "A Michigan Healthcare Freedom Act allowing Michiganians to opt out of the federal healthcare bill will be introduced when the Legislature resumes session July 21." The proposal was announced Tuesday, after a petition drive against the federal healthcare plan fell short. The grassroots organizers of that effort "hoped to get a question on the November election ballot asking Michigan voters to decide if they want to opt out of the federal health care overhaul, but they failed to collect enough petition signatures by Monday's deadline" (Bouffard, 7/6).

Detroit Free Press: "Backers of a petition drive ... said Tuesday that they won't give up," despite having fallen short by more than 100,000 signatures of the tally required "to put the issue before Michigan voters in November." They also said "multiple options remain to challenge the health care legislation enacted by Congress and President Barack Obama in March, including the possibility of another ballot drive, pressure on state and federal lawmakers and lawsuits" (Bell, 7/7).

The Hill:The National Federation of Independent Business' "Michigan chapter held the press conference along with Michigan Citizens for Healthcare Freedom. Their amendment would have prohibited government from: restricting a person's right to choose his or her own healthcare system or plan; interfering with a person's or employer's right to pay directly for lawful medical services; and imposing a penalty or fine on those who choose to obtain or decline any healthcare coverage or to participate in any particular healthcare system or plan. 'The average petition drive has six months to gather signatures and spends about $1.5 million,' [NFIB State Director Charlie] Owens added. 'We had about 11 weeks and spent about 2 percent of that amount and we still managed to obtain a record number of signatures'" (Pecquet, 7/6). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.