Medicaid Expansion in Michigan

A major question is already being asked for Michigan’s budget in 2014: Should Medicaid coverage be expanded to those at or below 138 percent of poverty? The answer is YES. Medicaid expansion forecasts positively for Michigan’s economy. The federal government will pay the full cost of expansion between 2014 and 2016. In 2017, the state’s share will increase gradually until 2020 when it will remain fixed at 10 percent on an ongoing basis.

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An analysis conducted by the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation estimates that the expansion of Medicaid would save the state of Michigan almost a billion dollars between 2014 and 2023. Savings would occur primarily because federal spending would replace state general fund spending on mental health care and other health programs. States will have the option of opt in for the Medicaid expansion when the federal government is paying 100 percent of the cost and drop out later.

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Medicaid expansion would likely inject more than $30 billion federal dollars into the state economy between 2014 and 2023. Michigan hospitals have absorbed dramatic cuts to ensure the funding of the Medicaid expansion and new subsidies for private insurance coverage. Expansion will ensure patient access to health care and help deter hospitals’ financial burden of uncompensated care.

Beginning in 2014, large employers risk financial penalties if their workers are not given access to affordable health insurance. Medicaid expansion will provide a safety net for low-wage workers and reduce the cost to Michigan employers.

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A decision not to expand Medicaid in Michigan will end the state’s long tenure as a donor state. Michiganians will end up helping pay for Medicaid expansions in other states regardless, so let’s make a sound economic decision and get on board.

From The Detroit News:

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