State Representative Joe Graves will be one of the lawmakers studying data and shaping the state's policy before the Michigan House takes action to implement the federally mandated health care exchange required by the Affordable Care Act.

Representative Graves currently serves on the House Health Policy Committee which has been assigned by House Speaker Jase Bolger to hold a joint hearing with the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to review the Supreme Court's recent ruling.

According to a news release, Grave is looking forward to digging into the ramifications of implementing 'Obamacare' and most importantly listening to the thoughts and concerns of the state's residents. "There is so much uncertainty about what Obamacare really means for our residents and how exactly to comply," said Graves, R-Argentine Township. "My goal is to find answers to tough questions and solutions for the residents of my district."

Graves said some of the work the House will research include:

  • Clarification if state residents will face an individual mandate and if citizens and job providers will face a tax penalty if the state does not establish an exchange, due to conflicting wording in the law's language and IRS ruling.
  • Determining specific details of what an exchange should include, how the state can meet those parameters, and if an exchange is the best option for Michigan.
  • Identifying the advantages and disadvantages of a health exchange established by the state versus one being established by the federal government.
  • Researching potential private companies similar to Travelocity or Orbitz that would allow Michigan citizens to compare and shop for insurance that would meet federal mandats for a marketplace exchange through the private sector.

"It's imperative that we understand the implications of this massive law and how it will impact our residents before taking any legislative action," said Graves. "The impacts and effects of Obamacare will be wide-reaching and effect every hard working taxpayer in Michigan. The first step will be these meetings and I'm looking forward to finding solutions to this complex issue."