Michigan Democrats, Michigan Republicans, Rick Snyder — June 10, 2013 at 11:51 am

ACTION: There’s still time to be heard on Michigan Medicaid expansion


There are new signs of hope. Let your legislators know voters overwhelmingly support doing what’s right for everyone.

When it comes to accepting Medicaid expansion, there are no losers. Everyone wins. And it’s possible that the Michigan legislature may be coming around to that idea.

A Democratic source in the House told Eclectablog there’s still hope for Medicaid expansion. Some Republicans seem more willing to find a way to make it work; other Republicans may still be concerned about political consequences of voting in favor of anything that’s part of Obamacare.

Now is the time to let your legislators know that Michigan voters support Medicaid expansion. Citizens, hospital systems, healthcare providers and small businesses have all spoken out in favor of Medicaid expansion. Those voices need to rise above the vocal minority who consider it a loss to give Obamacare any ground.

In fact, you can join the Michigan Nurses Association on Tuesday, June 11 at 11:00 a.m. to take action to advocate for Medicaid expansion. Unite for Michigan Families by gathering at the Anderson House Office Building at 124 North Capitol Avenue in Lansing.

The Michigan Nurses Association is asking legislators to stop putting Michigan families at risk.

Why are nurses concerned about losing federally provided money for Medicaid expansion? We see thousands of patients in Michigan who are desperately in need of this coverage. Many of them are disabled or veterans or working families who can’t afford or don’t have access to medical insurance.

Ask legislators to stop:

  • Resisting Medicaid expansion
  • Turning away money that can help Michigan citizens
  • Hurting Michigan’s fiscal future
  • Exactly how does everyone win by passing Medicaid expansion?

    As many as 730,000 uninsured Michiganders will have access to insurance. This reduces healthcare costs for everyone who buys insurance, to the tune of about $1,000 per family per year. It relieves hospitals and healthcare providers of the burden of losses incurred due to providing uncompensated care. Most important, it means more people can get the healthcare they need to stay well instead of waiting to seek treatment until they’re sick — perhaps too sick to be helped.

    Medicaid expansion is predicted to create about 18,000 new jobs and bring an estimated $2.1 billion in economic activity to Michigan by 2016. I’ve written about this many times, and you can dig deeper in this two-part series.

    Best of all, Medicaid expansion is 100 percent federally funded through 2017, when the government begins gradually scaling its payment back to 90 percent. By 2020, that percentage is locked in. Governor Rick Snyder, who to his credit remains an advocate for Medicaid expansion, has proposed putting a portion of projected cost savings from insuring the uninsured into a fund to pay for future costs of Medicaid expansion. He predicts the fund will cover costs through 2035. It’s a great idea, and a smart strategy to address concerns about future expenses.

    The time to act is now, before the Michigan legislature begins its summer recess later this month. Contact your legislators and ask them to listen to the will of the people. If nothing else, opponents of Medicaid expansion care about what voters think, so let them know you’ll remember how they voted come the next election. Keep it positive and respectful — a compromise is how Medicaid expansion gets passed — but make your voice heard.

    While you’re at it, let Governor Snyder know you appreciate his support for Medicaid expansion, and urge him to keep up the good fight on this one.

    Get more information on the June 11 Michigan Nurses Association event HERE. You’ll also find additional facts and ways to take action, including an email letter that’s easy to customize and send to key legislators. If you’re a nurse, just send it as is.