Medicaid Expansion in Michigan
States refusing to expand Medicaid to 133% of FPL has repercussions for those making less than 100% FPL. The PPACA was intended to setup State Exchanges where people could buy healthcare insurance and if they had an income beyond 133% FPL (Federal Poverty Level). Subsidies in the form of a tax credit would be given to each participant (sent to insurance carrier) based on their income. Remember, I said the PPACA was designed for those with incomes >133% FPL? While those with incomes >100% FPL can get subsidized healthcare insurance in the Exchanges, those with incomes <100% FPL can not get subsidized healthcare insurance in the exchanges and they would be covered by Medicaid. The states threatening to not expand Medicaid will leave a hole in healthcare insurance coverage. If the states do not expand Medicaid for single and childless married adults and expand it for married adults with children with incomes <100% FPL, they will not be able to get subsidized coverage on the exchanges either. Many state legislatures are not mentioning this to the constituency in the hope they can blame it on the PPACA, President Obama, and the Democrats. Here is how it is playing out in the State of Michigan . . . “the expanded program would cover as many as 450,000 Michiganders, according to projections. Michiagn State Senator Hune said there is evidence that about half of those in the expanded income category already have coverage of some kind” Press and Argus local newspaper. Michigan State Senator John Hune (my district) is worried about adding 450,000 more uninsured people to Medicaid if they expand it under the PPACA . I could understand the concern if:
• It was not funded. The Medicaid expansion is fully funded up to 100% for the first 3 years and gradually drops to 90% in 2020. The 90% still exceeds the unenhanced Federal Government Medicaid funding of 66% presently given to Michigan for Medicaid. Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid and Multiplier, State Health Facts, The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation.
• The State of Michigan already covered adults with and without children up to 100% of FPL. Michigan does not cover up to 100% of FPL for any adult. Jobless Adults with children are covered under Medicaid if they are <37% of FPL. Working adults with children are granted Medicaid coverage at <64% of FPL. Single adults were once covered at <35% FPL if jobless and <45% FPL if working. The program is closed for single adults and married childless adults. Adult Income Eligibility Limits at Application as a Percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), January 2013 The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation.
Recently, the Republican dominated Michigan State Senate went on vacation rather than voting, leaving the PPACA Medicaid Expansion issue to be decided upon when they return in Fall. State of Michigan Senator Hune’s reasoning was the lack of time (two days) to decipher the Medicaid Expansion. Now this happened in an automotive state where people who work in the automotive industry usually end up losing vacation and holiday time when a production line shuts down or a shipment needs to go out. Myself, I have faced such issues when managing a $200 million/year warehouse for a major Tier One. We hung around until the issue was resolved. This is also happening 2 years after the PPACA has passed, been decided as constitutional by SCOTUS, and rolled out piece meal. So why can’t they give up a couple of days and give it a yes or no vote?
The Republican dominated Michigan State Senate and “other opponents” to the PPACA are not acknowledging the resulting hole in coverage which the PPACA will not cover. Those people who do not have an income of at least 100% FPL will not be eligible for PPACA subsidies in the State Insurance Exchanges. For example, a working women with one child making $10,000 per year is at 64% of FPL and is ineligible for a subsidy to assist in paying the ~$4,900 insurance premium levied from the State Insurance Exchange. Pre-SCOTUS PPACA June 2012 decision, the Federal Government could force states to expand the Medicaid coverage by withholding funding already allocated to states for Medicaid. Since the 5-4 majority SCOTUS ruling, SCOTUS determined the Federal Government and Congress can not force states to expand Medicaid. Using the Kaiser Interactive Subsidy Chart, one can see in the chart below, the working Michiganders caught between 36% of FPL and 100% of FPL would not be eligible for PPACA Subsidies in the eventual Michigan Healthcare Insurance Exchange.
So why is Michigan State Senator John Hune so concerned about the addition of these Michiganders to Medicaid when there is no other comprehensive coverage for those with income < 100% FPL; secondly, the funding is at 100%, drops to 90% in 2020, thirdly it is a net gain for Michigan; and finally Medicaid improves upon what they may now have (telemarketed mini-meds) and would result in healthier workers? Perhaps, Senator Hune is attempting to appease a Tea Party constituency as his reasoning otherwise lacks common sense. Missing out on the funding for additional Medicaid coverage is only one aspect of the issue as there other gains to be realized from expanding. Michigan’s Economy Will Benefit from Expanding Medicaid, Families USA and Michigan Consumers for Healthcare points to a host of other benefits Michigan will forgo if it does not expand Medicaid.
• In 2016, the new federal dollars would support approximately 18,000 new jobs across all sectors of Michigan’s economy, a 0.32 percent increase over the number of current jobs in the state. This is not limited to health care jobs. Because of the multiplier effect (described above), jobs would be created in a wide range of business sectors throughout the state.
• The increased federal funding and jobs created are projected to increase economic activity in Michigan by nearly $2.1 billion starting in 2016.
• From 2013 through 2022, the Medicaid Expansion could save Michigan ~$350 million in uncompensated cost, as more people would be insured. This would offset the decreased percentage in 3 years.
• Hospitals also absorb uninsured healthcare costs. It is estimated another $317 million could be saved with the Medicaid expansion.
• In 2008, the costs of uncompensated care increased family health insurance premiums by an estimated $1,017.
• Increased state revenue from more people working.
• In this conservative get a job or get out of the state of Michigan, insured constituents would be healthier and more productive in jobs.
Solely because of politics, the Republican held Senate in Michigan is stonewalling the Medicaid Expansion at the expense of thousands (6,000 in Livingston County alone) of their constituents. Again as taken by Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, there are 1.9 million people in Michigan who have incomes <100% FPL who would not be eligible for subsidies on the PPACA State Insurance Exchange. Only adults with children are eligible today for Medicaid and only if their income is a much lower percentage than 100% FPL.
please keep up the good work.
in spite of occasional negative comments from me re Obamacare.
I cannot imagine what the R’s are thinking… if they think at all.
What I suspect is that they live for hate. They want to hurt people. And there seems to be enough people who feel the same way to keep electing them.
The importance of a state expanding its Medicaid program is way overblown, IMO. Let me explain before you lose your cool, Run.
Even if a state decides NOT to expand its Medicaid program, it still receives plenty of charity care dollars from Medicare to keep its hospitals profitable. I’ll bet money on it that even when ObamaCare is fully up and running, hospitals that are located in states, which opted not to expand Medicaid, won’t lose a dime of charity care from Uncle Sam. The hospital lobby is too powerful to let that ever happen.
Charity care doesn’t help out outpatient care facilities very much, unlike it does for hospitals,especially safety-net hospitals. But that doesn’t matter all that much because most states don’t have enough doctors to see insured patients, let alone less see uninsured patients! And even if we had enough doctors to see patients in outpatient care facilities, if they are the least bit sick — in other words, if they need anything more than, say, a band-aid or a BP check or a script for antibiotics — they’ll be sent to a hospital emergency room. Furthermore, if a patient is suspected of having a stroke or a heart attack, or has the potential of developing respiratory, kidney, or liver failure, they can’t simply be sent to a moderately-equipped hospital. No, they must be sent to a highly-equipped hospital — a hospital with a trauma center, in other words.
The state where I live has a whopping total of TWO hospitals with a trauma center, which is why the hospital I work at is busting at the seams with patients, day and night. The vast majority of these patients are simply too sick to be seen at most hospitals in my state. And forget about seeing them at outpatient facilities: the most that these facilities can do is try to keep patients with chronic diseases under control. When patients with a chronic disease — be it heart failure, diabetes, or obstructive lung disease — become the least bit out of control, they are shipped to a hospital. Not just any old hospital, but a highly-equipped hospital, preferably one with a trauma center.
The bottom line is that it doesn’t do much good for states to expand Medicaid when their healthcare infrastructure is sorely lack in both well-trained doctors and well-equipped facilities.
Run, as you say it’s about politics and only politics. Michigan state government is not about to let any Obama policy work if it can avoid doing so.
As to Cynthia’s comment, she doesn’t discuss the issue of the billing of the uninsured by the hospitals involved and the harassment and pursuit of the patients by their debt collectors.
What kind of a country the US has become and in such a short time, Republicans are the pits. How can that be in the wealthiest country, a nation so proud of her Democratic form of government ? The elected officials feel no need to do their job, to serve the nation to the best of their ability, their oath of office is absolutely meaningless.
I suppose it is just a quirk of fate that states whose “healthcare infrastructure is sorely lack[ing] in both well-trained doctors and well-equipped facilities” are run by republicans.
Nonsense, supposition, and conjecture on your part. Do you really believe Obama is going to give in to the preimise of not cutting back on rembursements for unfunded care? I got a bridge to sell you.