Consumers across most of America will see their health insurance premiums go up next year for popular plans under President Barack Obama's health care law, although in Michigan and some other states, the picture is mixed.
But it will take time for families to figure out the best bang for their budgets — even as a bigger political battle brews over the program's future.
For many people, government subsidies will cushion the hit. And there's a new factor: Returning customers who are savvy about health insurance and prepared to shop for a better deal.
What independent experts analyzing the government's 2015 raw data are finding points to an overall trend of rising premiums, although not everywhere.
The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation's analysis found wide differences from state to state, and even within states. Some of the steepest premium increases for benchmark plans are for counties in Alaska and Minnesota. Most counties in Georgia will see decreases. Premiums are trending up in Florida and Texas, prime targets of the administration's enrollment drive for 2015.
In Michigan, across all health plans the premium decreases can be as low as 3 percent and increases as high as 7 percent, state officials said.
The analysts have focused on "silver" plans, the coverage level picked by about two-thirds of the customers on HealthCare.gov and state-run health insurance markets. There are four levels — platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Silver is a notch below what most people with employer coverage have.
For the full article, see Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Health law's premium fluctuations mixed in Michigan", Detroit News, November 26, 2014.
Sojourner Truth, the noted abolitionist and women’s rights activist, died in Battle Creek, Michigan, on November 26, 1883. When she passed away at age eighty-six, her funeral at the Congregational Church was thought the largest ever in that city.
For more information see Nell Irvin Painter, Sojourner Truth: a life, a symbol, New York: W.W. Norton, 1996.
"Michigan Historical Calendar", courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.
‘Calm' Cotter Prepares To Take House Reins
House Speaker-elect Kevin Cotter says he originally tried to talk himself out of running for the House in 2009 when the idea first came to mind, but he simply couldn't get it out of his head, and four years later he's preparing to lead a 63-member Republican majority caucus.
New Bolger Roads Plan Riles Schools, Locals
House Speaker Jase Bolger's new plan to raise $1 billion for roads primarily through earmarking all taxes collected on gasoline to go toward roads immediately and predictably came under heavy attack from school and local government leaders because it puts funding for K-12 schools and local government revenue sharing at risk.
Cost Of Senate Move Pegged At $70M; DCH Relocation Uncertain
The Michigan Strategic Fund board on Tuesday approved an inducement resolution for the issuance of $70 million in tax-exempt bonds to purchase the majority of the Capitol View building in Lansing for new Senate office space, but what will happen to any existing tenants, including staff for the Department of Community Health, remains unclear.
U.S. Sen. Levin Slams GOP For Work Against Obama
While President Barack Obama may not go down as one of the nation's great presidents, Republican efforts to consistently oppose him is new and unacceptable, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin said in an interview with Michigan Public Television's "Off the Record."
Calley Signs Supplemental With Disaster Assistance
Lt. Governor Brian Calley signed a supplemental appropriations bill Tuesday that contains $32.5 million to provide matching funds for federal disaster assistance in response to the massive flooding that hit the Detroit area after six inches of rain fell on August 11.
DEQ Seeking Sole Authority Over Oil, Gas Waste Injection Wells
Oil and natural gas well operators would no longer have to get federal permits for the injection wells they use to store waste under a plan offered by the Department of Environmental Quality.
Schuette Joins Brief Challenging Maryland Gun Control Law
Attorney General Bill Schuette has added Michigan to 19 other states in an amicus brief challenging a Maryland law - passed after the 2012 mass murder of school children and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut - that limits certain kinds of automatic weapons and the size of ammunition magazines.
Supreme Court: Contract Worker Not Employee In Workers Comp Case
A contract worker injured while working for a company does not meet the definition of an employee under Michigan's workers' compensation law, the Supreme Court held on Tuesday.
Schauer Supporting Hillary Clinton For President
Former U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer, the 2014 Democratic nominee for governor, sent an email to supporters Tuesday saying he will support former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she runs for president.
MSF Approves $22.5M Investment For New Private Equity Fund
The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a $22.5 million investment in a new private equity fund that will provide growth funding for Michigan automotive suppliers, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced Tuesday.
Inauguration Theme: ‘Relentless, Resilient, Reinvented'
The theme to the January 1, 2015, inauguration where Governor Rick Snyder and Lt. Governor Brian Calley will be sworn in for their second terms will be based on phrases Mr. Snyder used throughout his first term, including "relentless positive action," and leading the "reinvention of Michigan."
Schuette Praises Supreme Court Taking EPA Case
A regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency to limit mercury emissions from power plants that critics charge does not take into account the cost of enforcing the regulation will go before the U.S. Supreme Court and Attorney General Bill Schuette praised that decision on Tuesday.
Civil Rights Commission Weighs in on LGBT Legislation
The Civil Rights Commission urged the Legislature to move on changes to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect sexual orientation and gender identity. "The commission urges the Michigan Legislature to present a bill to the governor that protects all residents and visitors in Michigan by amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to add sexual orientation and gender identity, and we urge the governor to sign it," the panel said in a resolution adopted Monday. "The commission also reiterates its support of the constitutional protection of religious liberty, and of not placing any substantial and undue burden on any person's religious exercise, and without lessening any existing civil rights protection."
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #53, Report 233, November 25, 2014. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library. For assistance in accessing the database, stop by the MSU Library Reference Desk.
Democrats, schools and local governments emerged today as the chief opponents to a new road funding plan that's dependent on phasing out the sales tax on gasoline.
House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) is now actively backing the plan, which lawmakers have been discussing behind closed doors for at least two weeks now.
Over a six-year period, the plan would phase out the 6 percent sales tax on gas while increasing the state's regular gasoline tax in a corresponding fashion. The change would eventually dedicate revenue from all state taxes on gasoline to transportation needs.
By the time the plan is fully phased in, it would produce close to $1 billion in extra funding for roads. Working with other transportation proposals that could be enacted in December, the package could eventually produce $1.2 billion for transportation needs each year.
The problem, according to some, is that currently sales tax revenue from gasoline sales goes to help fund schools and local governments.
For the full article, see "Bolger Road Plan To Phase Out Sales Tax On Gas Gains Quick Enemies", Inside MIRS Today, November 25, 2014.
Other topics covered include:
MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is trying to prevent the state from eliminating taxes on office equipment and industrial machinery for a large sector of the business community under a constitutional change voters approved in August.
His lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims alleges Warren stands to lose millions of dollars without the personal property tax on smaller businesses and manufacturers. The tax primarily supports municipal services.
For the full article, see Gary Heinlein, "Fouts sues to stop end of state machinery tax", Detroit News, November 25, 2014.
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