Snyder Calls Out State Senate on Postponing Medicaid Vote
Governor Rick Snyder expressed his outrage over the state Senate's decision to adjourn for the summer without taking up a vote on health care legislation that the governor says is "vital to Michigan's families and future."
At stake according to governor is the Healthy Michigan plan, an initiative that would hopefully reduce skyrocketing hospital costs that result from uncompensated health care. Under the Healthy Michigan plan, almost a half-million working but uninsured Michiganders would receive coverage. The bill had been approved by the House last week.
In a statement Snyder said "ensuring access to affordable, quality health care is one of the most significant challenges facing Michigan. The Health Michigan plan will help achieve that. Members of the state House have already acted on this and I appreciate their diligence. Unfortunately, the Senate did not even bring the critical legislation up for a floor vote before leaving for the summer. That's unacceptable. Our senators need to take a vote, not a vacation."
Snyder continued that "leaving this undone will negatively impact our people, health care providers and businesses as they deal with challenges associated with the Affordable Care Act."
The governor pointed out that voting on issues that are essential to Michigan is a basic function of the Legislature, much like its responsibility to approve balanced budgets. He added that in addition to lowering costs, the Healthy Michigan plan prudently includes incentives to encourage healthy lifestyles that will reduce the need for emergency care.
According to the governor's office, treating those without insurance places an $820 million burden for uncompensated care each year on Michigan's hospital industry. The governor's plan has the support of many health and business organizations, including the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, the Michigan Chamber of commerce and the Small Business Association of Michigan.
The state is projected to save $206 million in the 2014 fiscal year by providing Healthy Michigan plan benefits to those now receiving services paid for with general fund dollars.