News Release: It’s Got Nothing To Do With Politics

Why the Numbers Don’t Work for Michigan’s “ObamaCare” Bill – HB4714

What Passage Would Really Mean for the “Medically Indigent”

For Immediate Release
For more information and
interview requests, contact:
Heather Richards-Wodrich
Director of Media Relations
Libertarian Party of Michigan
P.O. Box 27065, Lansing, MI 48909
August 20, 2013

(Lansing, MI) — “Now that the Legislature’s two-month summer break is almost over, a vote on Medicaid expansion in the Senate could be around the corner. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said there is likely to be a vote when the full Senate returns for regular session on Aug. 27.” – Crain’s Detroit Business, August 14, 2013

HB4714, or “The Social Welfare Act” that was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives earlier this summer, is the Republican answer to the Affordable Care Act, or “ObamaCare” as it’s more commonly known. The bill proposes an expansion of the current Medicaid prerequisites to extend the definition of the medically indigent to allow more people to qualify for benefits.

While it may sound good, the numbers tell the real story. And the story is anything but good.

HB4714 proposes an implementation of Medicaid reform that expands the medically indigent definition to anyone in Michigan making 100-133% of the federal poverty guidelines. (It would qualify 22% of Michigan residents for Medicaid benefits, or roughly 2.2 million people.)

Again, on paper, it looks like it will help those who are medically indigent afford better healthcare, and would provide healthcare to those who previously had none.

But here’s what the numbers say: “Those who make the specified monthly income ($610-811.30 for individuals and $777.92-1034.63 for married couples) will be covered… until they go over the allotted income. If and when they do, they would have to pay a deductible as an extra 15% of their income”, according to Brad Wheelock, Director at Large of the Libertarian Party of Michigan.

“This ‘Cost Sharing’ plan in HB4714 is in reality a tax on lower and middle class Michigan families who are already struggling,” says Wheelock. “In addition, it’s a huge disincentive for those in a household to get better paying jobs. It keeps families constantly dependent on the government, with no incentive to get out of the system. It literally compels the economically disadvantaged to stay right where they are.”

But that’s not the end of the story.

Wheelock also says, “Another aspect of the Bill that neither Party is addressing is the affect price ceilings have on the healthcare market. When the prices for healthcare services are ‘capped’ for a certain economic group by a subsidy, many providers won’t be able to offer services without it costing them money. This, in essence, pushes them out of the market for patients who are in the subsidized group. This also ‘back-fires’ for the patient, who will have limited choices when it comes to places to go for their care.”

“In addition,” Wheelock adds, “the Department of Community Health would be in charge of the whole program, making an already huge state-run entity an even larger behemoth.”


PDF form of release here:

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