Medicaid expansion in Michigan closer to reality

Feb 7, 2013

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder made it official yesterday:  He supports expanding the state’s Medicaid program.  

The federal Affordable Care Act offers to cover the costs of all the newly insured for three years.  That could total up to a half-million Michigan residents.  Proponents cite the savings to hospitals for no longer having to eat the emergency room costs of the poor who can’t pay.  Currently, those costs are now passed along to the hospitals’ other paying customers.

But unlike the Governor, other Michigan Republicans are wary or opposed to Medicaid expansion.  They fear the federal government may renege on its offer to pay.  And they’re concerned there may not be enough physicians to care for the newly insured population.

Current State speaks with a proponent of Medicaid expansion, David Seaman of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association and State Senator Rick Jones.  The Senator says Michigan needs to improve mental health coverage, but he is “leery” of Medicaid expansion.