Accept no substitutes. Only the real thing will help uninsured Michiganders and benefit the state.
Sure, the Michigan Senate is in recess. But now that Medicaid expansion — and two “alternative” bills — are headed to the Senate floor later this month, now is the time to tell your Senator you want the real thing.
This is simple: House Bill 4714, which is up for a vote in the Senate, is actually Medicaid expansion. It would provide insurance to nearly 500,000 uninsured Michiganders, mostly the working poor, seniors, veterans and the disabled. It’s estimated that Medicaid expansion would save 1,200 lives per year in Michigan — while reducing the economic burden on the state and its citizens that is created when the uninsured are treated in emergency rooms. We all pay when someone else can’t afford their own treatment. Plus, Medicaid expansion would create 18,000 jobs and $2 billion in revenue by 2016 without any expense to taxpayers.
The other two proposed bills? They are an end-run around Obamacare, an effort to privatize Medicaid and force people who can’t afford healthcare coverage now to pay for it or continue to go without. The two proposals are driven by Tea Party-backed legislators whose only real goal, it seems, is appeasing their base by refusing to have anything to do with Obamacare. But these bills aren’t a solution for the currently uninsured. Not even close.
Michigan Tea Party groups are asking their members to call their Senators every single day this month. That’s a little extreme, but make sure your voice is heard.
Contact your Senator — especially if he or she is a Republican — and urge a YES vote for the Senate’s amended version of HB 4714. It’s the only bill on the table that actually expands Medicaid.
And urge them to vote at the earliest possible opportunity. Too many lives are at stake.