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Snyder says Medicaid provider payments will not be cut

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By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-952312.mp3

LANSING, MI –
Governor Rick Snyder says he will not call for a reduction in what the state pays to doctors, clinics, and nursing homes that treat Medicaid patients when he unveils his proposed budget Thursday.

AUDIO:
Governor Snyder says reducing Medicaid payments would save money in the short-term. But he says cutting payments would eventually foist a bigger cost on taxpayers because more physicians would stop seeing Medicaid patients. Those patients would show up to emergency rooms and urgent care clinics when they get sick.

Geralyn Lasher is the governor's communications director. She says it's also important for people to have a relationship with their doctor.

"We would not want to see physicians no longer treating people on the Medicaid program," she says. "We want to make sure that there's access to care. We know one of the most important ways that we can reduce costs is for people to take an active role in being healthy."

There are nearly two million low-income people in Michigan who get health coverage through Medicaid. The program accounts for about 20 percent of total state spending.

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