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Two Michigan business associations are urging members of the House to appropriate a $9.8 million federal grant to begin planning for a health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

In a press release today, the Michigan Business Professional Association (MBPA) and its sister organization Michigan Food and Beverage Association (MFBA) said the federal planning grant is “critical to laying the groundwork for a health exchange.”

Jennifer KLUGE, president and CEO of the MBPA and the MFBA, added that if Michigan does not initiate its own state-run exchange program, the state will be forced into a mandated federal exchange program.

“Michigan must retain at least some power over what happens with our health care, regardless of political considerations,” Kluge added. “The associations feel strongly that there is still time to implement a state-run exchange and we encourage state legislators to take up the issue when they get back in session.”

But today, Ari ADLER, spokesman for House Speaker Jase BOLGER (R-Marshall), said House Republicans are currently planning no action on the exchange.

“As we understand it, the governor is working with the federal government to establish a state/federal partnership for an exchange in Michigan,” Adler explained in an email. “At this time, we don’t believe any action by the Legislature is necessary.”

After months of encouraging House members to support a state-run health exchange, Gov. Rick SNYDER changed course last month because of an approaching deadline and reluctance from GOP members. As of now, Snyder has decided to pursue a state-federal partnership