DETROIT (AP) – Bills approved by state lawmakers could have an impact on a lawsuit that accuses Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan of discouraging competition by insisting on unfair terms with hospitals.

Lawyers for Blue Cross and the government have called a time-out through Jan. 8 in Detroit federal court.

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The bills would prohibit so-called “most favored” clauses, which can force Blue Cross competitors to pay higher prices at hospitals. Those provisions are at the heart of an antitrust lawsuit against Blue Cross by the U.S. Justice Department. The government says patients end up paying more.

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The lawsuit, filed in 2010, is pending. The bills haven’t been signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

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