We released our report on the dangers of Medicaid work requirements and we fought tirelessly to stop those requirements from becoming law in Michigan, but in June Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature did just that. And while parts of the law were improved by the time it reached the governor’s desk, some disturbing language was added that could result in the end of the Healthy Michigan Plan, which insures over 650,000 Michiganders.
Now is your chance to act.
The federal public comment period on Public Act 208 runs through Friday, Oct.26. We’re encouraging folks to submit their comments here so that we can submit them. This is your opportunity to make your voice heard on this dangerous legislation.
Stories and comments from you could make all the difference in this fight. Whether you personally receive Medicaid or whether you simply understand the positive impact it has on your community, your voice matters.
Here are just a few of the comments that have been submitted so far.*
We are a state with deep economic inequality and way too many people living in poverty. Poverty should not prevent people from getting health care! It really is as simple as that. Medicaid is a health care program, not a work program; it should be organized for this one purpose.
–C.R., Ingham County
I have family members that are disabled, unable to hold down a job, and cannot afford healthcare. Medicaid expansion is the only reason they receive the care they do right now.
–D.B., Ottawa County
After being without insurance for many years, Medicaid allowed me to receive care for a chronic issue that adversely affected my life for many years. I was able to work and function but at a limited level. The Healthy Michigan Plan allowed me to get constant care and raise my health level.
–Anonymous, Wayne County
Hundreds of working families and young adults who will soon be starting families face barriers that could cost them coverage under the Healthy Michigan Plan changes, putting that cornerstone of a healthy life—regular health care services—in jeopardy for many children and youth.
– Michigan’s Children
My father was covered by Medicaid when he had life-saving surgery for an aortic aneurysm and at the end of his life when he was hospitalized for over a month. These conditions would have bankrupted all of his children—myself and my two siblings.
–S.M., Oakland County
On the surface so many of these “work for” plans sound reasonable. As always, the devil is in the details. Are the people prepared to find gainful employment in their current environment and does such gainful employment exist? A single parent faces many unusual problems. Are we prepared to offer help? Will this actually result in a societal savings or simply defer problems until they reach the crisis level?
I ask you to consider this very carefully. Most people I have known who find themselves relying on Medicaid are very anxious to move their lives forward to gainful employment. Might our efforts not be better directed toward living assistance, training, and perhaps relocation assistance? I say this respectfully knowing that we face a multitude of problems which we try to solve with increasingly scarce resources.
–S.B., Kent County
When I left my job to become a full-time law student I was placed on Medicaid. Without it I could not have afforded insurance. It saved me!
– J.N., Jackson County
Two of the most salient amendments to Healthy Michigan Plan proposed by the State are the addition of community and workforce engagement requirements and premium payments as a condition of continued Medicaid coverage through the Healthy Michigan Plan. The Center for Civil Justice(CCJ) believes that both of these changes are detrimental to both the welfare of the Healthy Michigan Plan program and that of Michigan residents who rely on the Healthy Michigan Plan in order to maintain their health and well-being. If the proposed amendments to HMP are implemented, CCJ believes that enrollment in the program will steeply decline due to noncompliance, burdensome reporting requirements, and administrative error.
–Center for Civil Justice
Medicaid helped us when we moved and had two small children. One of us had to watch them and my husband could only find a part-time job. Thankfully we had family support and we were able to move again to a better area and find work, but many other families are not as fortunate. My children are still on MI Child and I am thankful for that program. Our jobs do not offer health insurance and the marketplace coverage for us adults is already high.
–K.W., Muskegon County
I have had to use the Healthy Michigan Plan on and off throughout the past seven years. I’m a single mom with two children and until recently did not receive any child support nor was the biological father involved. Childcare assistance subsidizes pennies on the dollar for childcare that cost me upwards of $800/month. Transportation costs, and making too much to qualify for much in food stamps made survival with basic necessities like food more important than figuring out how to pay the outstanding childcare balance. Then I would lose childcare and then lose my job because I had to take care of my children.
–A.C., Unnamed County
Michigan’s Medicaid program has been a vital resource for over a million people in our state. Medicaid provides essential health benefits for an at-risk population, which benefits not only the individual but the community as a whole, helping to keep down hospital costs and expenses for the state.
– E.M., Oakland County
Comments like these can make a major impact moving forward.
The comment period is critical to explain the harm that could result from these changes. Comments collected during Kentucky’s public period were crucial in the court decision to reject the Center on Medicaid and Medicare’s (CMS) approval of the Kentucky work requirements waiver. That court called the approval of the waiver “arbitrary and capricious” because CMS did not properly address the opposing comments or the impact on coverage.
*These comments have been submitted by members of the public and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Michigan League for Public Policy.