LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan legislative panel has voted to spend $31 million to help build a health insurance marketplace required under the contentious federal health care overhaul.
Wednesday's 24-3 vote by the House Appropriations Committee signals the Republican-led Legislature may be ready to go along with Gov. Rick Snyder's plan to pursue a partnership exchange controlled almost entirely by the federal government.
The online exchange is supposed to make it easier for people and businesses forced to carry insurance under the health care law.
Michigan was awarded a $31 million federal grant for the exchange. But Snyder needs legislative approval to spend it.
GOP legislators last year rejected the Republican governor's preference for a state-run marketplace. A partnership exchange lets states handle some customer service functions and approve insurers on the website.
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Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.