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    Reinventing Health Care
    To build a stronger Michigan, we must build a healthier Michigan. My vision is for Michiganders to be healthy, productive individuals, living in communities that support health and wellness, with ready access to affordable, patient- centered and community-based system of care. Health and wellness are important across the continuum of life from prenatal care, to providing children and adults with opportunities for nutritious food and physical activity, to the option of home-based long-term care for seniors who need it. 

    Good health allows children to thrive and learn, it readies graduates for meaningful careers and it permits our current work force to grow and adapt to a dynamic economy. Healthier residents also strengthen families and communities. Every Michigander has a role to play in improving health and wellness. While medical advances can address many problems, all Michiganders have the power to improve their own health. This is critical because many of the chronic conditions we face, from diabetes to coronary heart disease, are greatly influenced by our lifestyle choices.

    Improving access to health care also will lead to improved wellness and costs savings. For too many individuals and small businesses, cost has put health care coverage out of reach. The Health Insurance Exchange, mandated by federal health care reform legislation, is an attempt to change that. The Affordable Care Act requires states to establish a health insurance exchange by 2014. Michigan must be prudent in planning to meet federal requirements. As the law currently stands, if Michigan doesn't create its own exchange, the federal government will impose one.

    In an effort to create a system uniquely designed to meet the needs of Michiganders, I have asked Legislators to create our own unique exchange. The Michigan-based online health insurance exchange will emphasize free-market principles and provide a competitive marketplace for consumers through the use of technology.






    Looking Ahead
    • Developing strategies to address Michigan's current and anticipated shortages in the health care sectors. The state could face a shortage of anywhere between 16,000 and 24,000 physicians by 2020.
    • Reviewing the 30-year-old statute under which Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan operates to make sure it is up to date.
    • Achieving better coordination between the federal Medicare and state Medicaid programs on behalf of the more than 205,000 residents who ...

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