Coalition group begins full court press FOR Medicaid expansion
Governor Snyder supports expanding Medicaid to 133% of the poverty level under President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; however, state lawmakers have been reluctant and skeptical of the long-term costs associated with such an expansion. Both the House and Senate Department of Community Health appropriations subcommittees rejected including an appropriation for Medicaid expansion in budget legislation reported out to the full Appropriations Committee.
Lawmakers are right to be skeptical. The Heritage Foundation estimates the cost to Michigan taxpayers for the expansion will total $1.3 billion through 2022. Estimates on the number of people who will be added into the program range from 320,000 to as many as 1.2 million additional recipients.
Now…two coalition groups comprised of powerful lobbying interests, have begun a full court press in SUPPORT of a Medicaid expansion. They include Michigan hospitals, mental health care providers, physicians, and several of the state’s small business groups such as the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Small Business Association of Michigan and the Michigan Business and Professional Association. (Kudos to the Michigan National Federation of Independent Businesses for coming out in opposition to the expansion.)
Your grassroots involvement on this issue has never been so important. We must continue to encourage state legislators to stand strong AGAINST a Medicaid expansion.
Adding hundreds of thousands of people into a broken and failed system won’t solve Medicaid’s long-standing issues. The Medicaid system has failed patients, physicians and taxpayers. Rather than giving the states flexibility to implement the Medicaid system in a common sense and compassionate way, the Obama Administration is trying to trick us into accepting a one-size-fits-all federal approach.
HHS Secretary Sebelius has been unwilling to consider block granting Medicaid and allowing states to implement the program as they deem fit. Notably, Sebelius rejected California’s proposed Medicaid copays, which ranged from $3 for preferred drug prescriptions to $5 for doctor visits. HHS also rejected Illinois’ plan to require proof of residency and income verification as a mechanism for cutting down on fraud!