There are many pros and cons and personal insights surrounding the issue of Medicaid Expansion. Some of those opinions are based on the thought: "I've earned mine, let everybody else earn theirs." or "If they worked hard enough they wouldn't need Medicaid." Recently I've had a couple of epiphany thoughts around this discussion:
- With 20 years experience on the board of a non-profit housing corporation providing residential assistance to persons with Developmental Disabilities, I know that quality service begins with quality staff. I also know that state wide most direct care workers make less than $10.00 an hour and in order to make ends meet it is not unusual for a staff worker to work 2 or more jobs. Many of these compassionate, hard and long working employees would benefit from the Medicaid expansion. I don't know a more deserving group.
- I have a finance background and can relate to some of the Governor's emphasis on running the state more like a business. In support of the expansion, the Governor presented the legislature with a strategy that would assure that Federal funds guaranteed for the Medicaid expansion in Michigan will support the expansion (ie take care of all incremental funding) for at least the next 20 years. Unfortunately, I believe that in this case the Legislature is trumping principal (no new spending) with bias. In addition, Michigan citizens, employers and medical facilities and doctors will not benefit from the guaranteed federal funding -- and at the same time, federal taxes paid by Michigan citizens will be diverted to pay for similar programs in other states!!
- We have all seen the news articles that in Michigan prisons have become the new institutions with reports that 25% of the prison population is mentally ill. We all know that Medicaid supports treatment for mental illness and again many of this population would qualify for services hopefully BEFORE they end up in a prison situation.
The following text is from an article in Crains:
LANSING - The leading Republican in the Michigan Senate says lawmakers and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder are nearing agreements on the state budget targets that will likely not include a proposed expansion of government health insurance for low-income adults.
Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville told reporters on Tuesday that the spending targets for the budget that takes effect Oct. 1 could be finalized soon.
The Monroe Republican said they are rejecting federal dollars for the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Health Care Act "at this time."
Lawmakers in the Republican-led House and Senate passed budgets rejecting Snyder's proposal to expand Medicaid to nearly 400,000 Michiganians.
House Republicans recently introduced a plan that limits able-bodied adults to four years of coverage; that plan is now being considered in committee.