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Medicaid Expansion Debate in Michigan Rages On

medicaid expansion debateA key component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") involves expanding Medicaid to anyone who earns up to 133 percent of the poverty level. In its landmark ruling last year the Supreme Court, while upholding PPACA, ruled that states could not be compelled to expand the joint federal-state Medicaid program.

State legislatures and governors across the country have considered whether to expand Medicaid, with only 23 states and the District of Columbia implementing an expansion according to the (We have identified that the following link is no longer active, and it has been removed.) Under the PPACA, 100 percent of the cost of the Medicaid expansion will be covered by the federal government from 2014 through 2016. The federal government's contribution will gradually decline until reaching 90 percent in 2022 and beyond.

While Michigan Governor Snyder has expressed his opposition to PPACA, generally, he endorsed a Medicaid expansion bill in February. The House-passed bill would add approximately 450,000 Michigan residents to Medicaid, but it has been blocked in the state Senate.  Intra-party debate over the issue is expected to continue when the legislature reconvenes later this summer.

Reacting to the news that the Senate would not vote on the bill, Governor Snyder expressed his frustration with lawmakers at a news conference stating: “There are major negatives to the Affordable Care Act, but there are some positives. It's a mixed bag. The question is: What do you do when you have to recognize it's the law of the land? I want to make a call to all Michiganders to join me in speaking to the Senate Republicans to say, 'Take a vote, not a vacation.’”

Proponents of the Medicaid expansion in Michigan argue that the expansion will allow revenue from the federal government to flow to the state while extending healthcare coverage to hundreds of thousands of state residents. Opponents argue that in the long run the state cannot afford to pay for its share of the expansion.  For updates on Medicaid expansion in Michigan subscribe to this blog.

Categories: Health Care Reform, Insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, Regulatory

Posted by: Johanna M. Novak


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