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January 02, 2013

Mich. Governor Vetoes Plan to End Blue Cross Tax Break

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed his own bill to eliminate Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's tax exemption, criticizing an abortion-related amendment tacked on to the measure by the state's lame-duck legislature, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The proposal unveiled by the governor's office in September would have converted Blue Cross into a mutual-insurance company, still nonprofit but subject to state and local taxes and able to compete with other insurers for customers.

The last-minute amendment would have made it more difficult for insurers to extend coverage for abortions, even in cases of rape or danger to the mother's life, a provision Mr. Snyder called an "overreach of government." The Republican governor, who did sign legislation strengthening state oversight of abortion clinics, told the newspaper that "Blue Cross Blue Shield reform has to start again and it will be a challenge to get it done."