Michigan Responds to Health Care Medicaid Expansion
Like many people in Michigan, Doug Fish has been following the health care debate and trying to understand all its implications. Fish is currently looking for work.
"Yeah, I am sure that everyone needs health insurance, and it's a good idea. But there's got to be other ways around it," said Fish. "We've got to figure something out because there are too many people that can't afford it with the way the economy is."
The Supreme Court's decision Thursday means that should Michigan go along with the expansion of Medicaid, when the law takes effect, a household of four earning $30,656.50 or less will qualify for Medicaid. Unlike the current system, which only covers children and pregnant women, all household members under the new system will receive health insurance. That includes husbands, wives, and children. The Medicaid expansion doesn't take effect until 2014.
Opponents to the Affordable Care Act, including Michigan's Attorney General, feel the expansion would be crippling.
"It imposes huge costs on businesses across this country, which will choke and strangle the economy, and I think puts us further behind in terms of jobs and paychecks for people," said Schuette. "What we don't need on health care policy is a huge over reach and a huge expansion of the Federal Government that will really minimize and virtually place health care decision making in the Federal Government. That's the wrong way to go in health care policy."
Thursday's Supreme Court decision means nearly 1.3 million people in Michigan will qualify for health insurance, about 13 percent of the state population.
"For me, it's kind of like if someone's unemployed, and they don't have access to health care and you can help them if they have a medical issue, why wouldn't we do that?" said William Strampel, Dean MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine. "As you get into this and realize there are going to be some things in the health care reform legislation that are very beneficial to every family, there are going to be some things that need to be fixed, and now instead of arguing back and forth we need an honest to God discussion of what's the warts in this thing and how to we change those warts to help."
The state legislature and Governor Snyder will have to decide if Michigan will participate in the expansion.