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SBAM urges support for Medicaid reform

June 11, 2013

The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) supports House Bill 4714.  This measure initiates critical reforms and broadens the eligibility criteria to participate in the Medicaid program so that people under 133 percent of the poverty level can obtain basic coverage.

Right now, people go to our health care system and they get care.  If they can’t afford it, they still get care but it’s uncompensated. Uncompensated care costs get passed along to those who can pay. It’s called cost shifting and it’s been happening for a very long time. It’s found its way into the base rates of health insurance for small businesses all across the state and is on the rise as fewer and fewer business owners are able to contend with exploding costs.

It is an unsustainable business model to take a growing burden of people who come to the healthcare system without compensation and shift the costs to a shrinking group of people – small business owners – who can still afford to pay for health insurance.  Small business owners are currently being hit three different times – health care premium costs, taxes, and uncompensated care costs.

This proposal not only makes sense for the small business owner, but is good business for all residents of Michigan.  The federal government will cover 100 percent of the costs of these Medicaid reforms for the first three years, and represents an opportunity  to end our status as a “donor state,” sending more money to Washington, D.C. than we get back in funding.  An infusion of $200 million in the first year alone will go a long way in holding down upward pressure on rates due to uncompensated care.  Additionally, SBAM has worked with legislative leaders to ensure no state taxpayer dollars will be used for the expansion population.

The infusion of federal dollars along with some key reforms to the way the state delivers Medicaid services will ultimately reduce the piling on effect that’s been plaguing paying customers for many years.  It makes good business sense for Michigan.

As a result, the Small Business Association of Michigan has been an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act from its inception, as it does nothing to address the exploding cost of healthcare.  Having lost the battle against the passage of the ACA at the federal level, SBAM has been focused on how the new law is implemented at the state level to maximize local control and cost containment.  If there is a silver lining for small business in the ACA, it is the face that it recognizes that the growing population of uninsured citizens is driving up the cost of coverage for those still able to afford it.

Please contact your legislator TODAY and tell them that by supporting HB 4714, Michigan will be able to ease the burden that is unjustly being placed on hardworking small business owners and their employees.

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