91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Whitmer signs bills to preserve Obamacare, outlaw LGBTQ discrimination in insurance

Hospital examination table
Mark Brush
Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bills Thursday to preserve Obamacare coverage in Michigan even if all or part of the Affordable Care Act is someday reversed at the federal level.

More than 322,000 Michiganders are signed up for Healthy Michigan, the state’s version of ACA coverage. Whitmer said this new law would ensure Healthy Michigan remains available even if the federal law is changed or scrapped by Congress or court decisions. The law guarantees coverage for hospitalization, pregnancy, and emergency care.

Also, insurance companies cannot deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. The new law also prohibits insurers from denying coverage based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation or expression.

“The ACA includes critical provisions that protect people with pre-existing conditions from being charged more, allows kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26, and guarantees essential services in all health insurance plans,” Whitmer said in a statement released by her office. “Today, I am proud to sign bipartisan bills putting the cost-saving provisions of the ACA into Michigan state law and protect health care for millions of Michiganders.”

Whitmer said the state law guards against reversals such as the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision last year striking down abortion rights protection. She said that shows states need to step in to secure health coverage.

The bills signed by Whitmer were adopted earlier this month by the Legislature’s Democratic majorities with Republicans mostly voting no or abstaining.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
Related Content