State lawmakers need to approve federal health exchange money

Feb 14, 2013

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Governor Rick Snyder's administration is asking lawmakers to quickly authorize spending $31 million to help run an online marketplace where hundreds of thousands of people can start shopping for health insurance later this year. 

The exchange is required under the federal health care law. It will be controlled primarily by the federal government because Republican legislators last year rejected Snyder's preference for a state-run marketplace.

The state has received a $31 million grant from the federal government to help with the cost of IT changes and customer service. But authorization from legislators is needed to spend it.

State officials told legislators on Wednesday they need the money by the end of February.

Some conservative and tea party groups say GOP lawmakers should again resist any attempts to create the exchange.