Gov. Snyder Supports Medicaid Expansion
The proposed Medicaid expansion is in accordance with the federal Affordable Care Act and is estimated to benefit about 320,000 Michigan residents in the first year.
"We're all here to support the expansion of Medicaid and that's the message that I will be making tomorrow in the budget message," said Gov. Snyder during a press conference at Sparrow Hospital on Wednesday.
The expansion will cover those making up to 133% of the federal poverty limit, cutting the number of uninsured Michiganders by almost half and helping to reduce the burden on hospitals.
"Those that are uninsured, they're using the emergency room as their primary health care mechanism. That's a flawed system," said Gov. Snyder.
However, the governor's recommendation hasn't received the green light from House Republicans, with Speaker of the House Jase Bolger remaining "cautious" and "concerned."
"If the federal government were to tell us they were to cover 90% for many years and at some point, change their mind and not fully fund the program they want us to get involved with, then that would fall on Michigan's taxpayers to cover and we have to be concerned about that," said Ari Adler, press secretary for Speaker of the House.
Gov. Snyder came up with a plan to start setting money aside. He says the funding from Washington will allow the state to save some of its general fund and he wants half of those savings to go into a health savings account.
"When we have to start paying our share of the Medicaid expansion, we can start drawing those dollars down to sort of smooth out the effect of having that take place," said Gov .Snyder.