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2013 Senate Bill 61: Convert Blue Cross to non-profit "regular" insurance company

Public Act 4 of 2013

  1. Introduced by Sen. Joe Hune (R) on January 16, 2013, to convert Blue Cross Blue Shield into a “mutual insurance company” and make it subject to the same regulations as regular health insurers. Although it would remain a non-profit, current restrictions on the entity's ability to own for-profit subsidiaries would be reduced, and it would no longer be subject to close oversight by the state Attorney General. In return for being granted this conversion, BCBS would pay "up to" $1.56 billion over 18 years (meaning it could be less) into a fund that would supplement various health-related government programs, as selected by a board of political appointees.
    • Referred to the Senate Insurance Committee on January 16, 2013.
      • Reported in the Senate on January 30, 2013, with the recommendation that the bill pass.
    • Amendment offered by Sen. Virgil Smith, Jr. (D) on January 31, 2013, to require that a union official be one of the members of the politically-appointed board that would decide where to spend the "up to" $1.56 billion over 18 years BCBS would be required to pay to supplement health-related government spending. The amendment failed 10 to 26 in the Senate on January 31, 2013.
      Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

    • Amendment offered by Sen. Mark Jansen (R) on January 31, 2013, to prohibit BCBS officers from being appointed to the board that would decide where to spend the "up to" $1.56 billion over 18 years that the entity would be required to pay to supplement health-related government spending. The amendment passed by voice vote in the Senate on January 31, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Sen. Jim Marleau (R) on January 31, 2013, to assert that the "up to" $1.56 billion over 18 years that BCBS would be required to pay to supplement government health-related spending should be on things that "improve health care quality" and reduce its cost. The amendment passed by voice vote in the Senate on January 31, 2013.
  2. Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate on January 31, 2013, to convert Blue Cross Blue Shield into a “mutual insurance company” and make it subject to the same regulations as regular health insurers. Although it would remain a non-profit, current restrictions on the entity's ability to own for-profit subsidiaries would be reduced, and it would no longer be subject to close oversight by the state Attorney General. In return for being granted this conversion, BCBS would pay "up to" $1.56 billion over 18 years (meaning it could be less) into a fund that would supplement various health-related government programs, with specific spending items selected by a board of political appointees. The bill does not include abortion restrictions that caused Gov. Snyder to veto the same measure when passed late last year.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the House on January 31, 2013.
    • Referred to the House Insurance Committee on January 31, 2013.
      • Reported in the House on February 21, 2013, with the recommendation that the substitute (H-2) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the House on February 27, 2013. The substitute failed by voice vote in the House on February 27, 2013.
    • Substitute offered by Rep. Pete Lund (R) on February 27, 2013, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that revises details but does not change the substance as previously described. The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on February 27, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Sam Singh (D) on February 27, 2013, to require that if there are any unspent appropriations at the end of a fiscal year, up to $75 million of the money must be spent on subsidizing "Medigap" insurance policies for individuals age 65 and older. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on February 27, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Andy Schor (D) on February 27, 2013, to clarify that Blue Cross Blue Sheild property will be subject to property tax starting in 2014. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on February 27, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Kate Segal (D) on February 27, 2013, to clarify references to individuals eligible for Medicare. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on February 27, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Andy Schor (D) on February 28, 2013, to clarify that Blue Cross Blue Sheild property and that of any subsidiaries it owns or acquires will be subject to property tax starting in 2014. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on February 28, 2013.
  4. Passed 92 to 18 in the House on February 28, 2013, to convert Blue Cross Blue Shield into a “mutual insurance company” and make it subject to the same regulations as regular health insurers. Although it would remain a non-profit, current restrictions on the entity's ability to own for-profit subsidiaries would be reduced, and it would no longer be subject to close oversight by the state Attorney General. In return for being granted this conversion, BCBS would pay "up to" $1.56 billion over 18 years (meaning it could be less) into a fund that would supplement various health-related government programs, with specific spending items selected by a board of political appointees. The bill does not include abortion restrictions that caused Gov. Snyder to veto the same measure when passed late last year.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  5. Received in the Senate on March 5, 2013.
  6. Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate on March 5, 2013.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  7. Signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on March 18, 2013.

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