AFP Says Victory Over State-Based Health Care Exchange

November 29, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     Contact: Scott Hagerstrom
November 29, 2012                                                                                 (517) 853-9073

Americans for Prosperity Says Victory Over State-Based Health Care Exchange Demonstrates Power of Grassroots Activism

LANSING, Mich.—The grassroots free-market group Americans for Prosperity-Michigan said today’s rejection of legislation to create a state-based health care exchange demonstrates the power of grassroots activism.

“This vote is a clear victory for all Michigan citizens, and a testament to the power of grassroots activism,” said Scott Hagerstrom, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Michigan. “We applaud those lawmakers who courageously stood up to the Washington health care takeover.”

Scott Hagerstrom, state director of AFP-Michigan, testified against the bill during a meeting of the House Health Policy Committee this morning. And on Tuesday, AFP activists took part in a legislator lobby day, in which citizens visited with their lawmakers and urged them to oppose a state-based health care exchange. Also, earlier this year AFP-Michigan sent a 150,000 piece mailer into more than 20 House Districts and three Senate Districts, many of them GOP, encouraging citizens to contact their lawmakers in opposition to an exchange.

“If Michigan lawmakers create a health care exchange like President Obama wants, it will result in long-term unfunded liabilities for Michigan taxpayers and facilitate the Washington health care takeover under the pretense of local control,” said Hagerstrom. “The sad truth is that we’ve already lost control of our health insurance to the federal government’s takeover. Setting up a state exchange will not change that–it will only legitimatize the damage that has been done and create another bureaucracy that will be tough, if not impossible, to get rid of.”

Touted as being “flexible” and under state control, the exchanges created under the President’s new health care law are far from simple, innovative, or transparent. Instead, they heap layers of onerous rules, restrictions, and mandates on states and insurers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published its most recent portion of the Exchange rules in March 2012, in a document totaling 644 pages. The word “require” appears 320 times; the word “must” appears over 1,000 times. This so-called “flexibility” is deceptive and egregious. Each regulation and restriction added by the federal government reduces the states’ “flexibility” and undermines the usefulness of the exchanges.

“We will continue to hold lawmakers’ feet to the fire on this issue,” concluded Hagerstrom.

Americans for Prosperity-Michigan is a statewide organization of more than 74,000 activists committed to strengthening our constitutional government, establishing fiscal restraint, and giving taxpayers greater control over government. We are dedicated to recruiting, training, educating and motivating grassroots activists to be effective in their own communities. Americans for Prosperity does not support or oppose candidates for public office.

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