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"The wisest mind has something yet to learn" -- George Santayana, philosopher.

Gov. Rick Snyder and his staff said passage of so-called health exchange legislation to implement the federal Affordable Care Act is a top priority in 2012. Michigan appears to be a bit behind on this, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

The White House says more than half of U.S. states are on their way to setting up their own health insurance exchanges, the online marketplaces where people without insurance coverage will be able to buy it starting in January 2014. The exchanges are a key component of President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul.

So, exactly what does Michigan and other states have to do to create these health exchanges, anyway? Stateline has more.

Meanwhile, in the world of health-care spending in the United States, an increase of 3.9 percent qualifies as a major decline. According to the AP:

Health spending stabilized as a share of the nation's economy in 2010 after two back-to-back years of historically low growth, the government reported Monday. Experts debated whether it's a fleeting consequence of the sluggish economy, or a real sign that cost controls by private employers and government at all levels are starting to work. ...That's an average of $8,402 per person -- far more than any other economically advanced country.

Washington Monthly notes that state per-student funding for public higher ed is dropping, according to a report released today by the National Science Foundation. (This is news?)

The Humane Society ranks Michigan 18th among the states for animal protection laws. Click to see why Michigan scored only 33 points on the society's 66-point scale (although the top-ranked, California, only got 46 points).

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