By Michigan state senator Patrick Colbert
In March of 2014, Michigan will join 25 other states in the implementation of the Medicaid Expansion component of Obamacare. Supporters of this expansion maintain that it will expand coverage, save the state money, and address uncompensated care at hospitals which drives up insurance costs for everyone in our state. Politically, it would be expedient to take these assertions at face value and say, “Medicaid Expansion is the law of the land. Move on.”
The only problem with that is that I was not elected to be “politically expedient”. I was elected to promote the best interests of my constituents. My attempt to reflect these interests is represented by the platform on which I ran for office. This platform featured the promotion of effective healthcare solutions and that is what I will continue to do.
Regrettably, effective healthcare solution is not an apt descriptor for the expansion of Medicaid under the Healthy Michigan program. First of all, coverage does not equate to quality care. Second of all, anytime a budget increases by over $1.5B, it is difficult to make the claim that we are “saving money”. Third of all, substituting uncompensated care for undercompensated care in hospitals by expanding Medicaid eligibility is akin to saying “I know we are losing money on every transaction, but we are making it up on volume”.
READ MORE on what would be a more effective solution