house committee en Blue Cross changes approved without abortion provision <p>LANSING, Mich. (<span class="il">AP</span>) - A state House committee has approved bills to overhaul Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, leaving out anti-abortion provisions that torpedoed an earlier effort to change the status of the state's largest insurer.</p><p>Bills headed to the House don't include language to prevent insurers and businesses from providing elective abortion coverage in employee health plans.</p><p>Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a similar bill less than two months ago over last-minute abortion provisions.</p><p>Some lawmakers discussed restoring abortion restrictions.<br><br>The proposed overhaul seeks to modernize but not sell Blue Cross, which is governed by a separate law from other insurers and waits longer for its rate changes to be reviewed.</p><p>Before Thursday's 11-0 vote, senior advocates testified about concerns that costs will rise because of the legislation. Three Democrats abstained from voting. Thu, 21 Feb 2013 19:15:56 +0000 The Associated Press 11351 at Blue Cross changes approved without abortion provision At 'English-only' hearing, Rep. Conyers delivers his statement in Spanish <p>It was a controversial hearing to begin with. Yesterday, a House subcommittee was looking into <a href="">a bill that would make English the official language</a> of the United States and require that government functions like naturalization ceremonies be conducted in English.</p><p>Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan was not a fan, so he decided to deliver his opening statement in Spanish.</p><p></p><p>First he thanked the chairman, then he proceeded to assail the measure.</p> Fri, 03 Aug 2012 16:44:02 +0000 8535 at At 'English-only' hearing, Rep. Conyers delivers his statement in Spanish Rep. Fred Upton to chair powerful Congressional committee <p>Michigan Republican Congressman <a href="">Fred Upton</a> of St. Joseph will head the <a href="">House Energy and Commerce Committee</a> in the next legislative session. The GOP won control of the House of Representatives in the November election.</p><p>The House Republican Steering Committee made the announcement yesterday.</p><p>As The Detroit Free Press <a href="">explains</a>, the committee, "oversees energy policy, automobile regulations, health care, food safety and more."</p><p>In a <a href="">statement</a> released yesterday, Upton said:</p><blockquote><p><font class="middlecopy">I look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, Whip McCarthy and the entire Republican Conference as we repeal Obamacare, fight rampant job-killing regulations, cut spending, and help put folks back to work.&nbsp; </font></p></blockquote><p><font class="middlecopy">Upton has served on the committee since 1991.</font> Wed, 08 Dec 2010 11:39:36 +0000 Zoe Clark 497 at Rep. Fred Upton to chair powerful Congressional committee