The Slippery Slope to the State Exchange
Yesterday the Michigan House Health Policy Committee and the House Appropriations Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee met to discuss the Michigan Health Exchange. One option available is to take the next step in planning the State Exchange, which would use $9.8 million in taxpayer money to allow further analysis:
Mr. Hilfinger reminded the committee several times of the $9.8 million in federal funds the state can use to further investigate setting up the exchange and provide some of the answers to questions lawmakers have, but he said the money needs to be authorized to be spent by the Legislature by November.
Some House Republicans have said they consider a vote to use that money as a vote showing their support for “Obamacare.”
Mr. Hilfinger said that using that money does not mean the state will have its own state-based exchange; that it is just money to do further analysis.
Seven states have already decided not to implement a state based exchange, including Montana, which has a Democratic Governor:
Unlike the federal government, Montana can’t just print money,” Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) said in a statement Wednesday. “We have a budget surplus, and we’re going to keep it that way.”
The law would add an estimated 84,000 people to Montana’s Medicaid program, doubling its size, the governor said. Although the federal government would pay the vast majority of the additional costs, Montana’s health department estimates the state’s share would reach $71 million in 2019.
If Montana citizens, and its Democratic Governor, are concerned about the cost of implementing Obamacare, Michigan residents would do well to follow suit. Michigan is likely to add approximately 650,000 residents to Medicaid through a State Exchange, which would increase the size of the program by approximately 33%. Any half step towards implementing Obamacare via a State Exchange is more like a giant bear hug. Do you really think the $9.8 million comes without federal strings attached?
Contact your House Representative today and tell them you oppose the Michigan HealthCare Exchange.
By Lewis Butler