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The Small Business Association of Michigan endorses the expansion of Medicaid

February 7, 2013

SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler appeared with Gov. Snyder at a Lansing press conference Wednesday to announce SBAM’s support for expansion of the Medicaid program so the state can realize the financial savings and physical and mental health benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

Fowler said Medicaid expansion will reduce the amount of uncompensated health care costs that ultimately get passed along to small business owners.

“I consider it a kind of organizational epiphany about a decade ago when we came to realize that the uninsured really matter to business,” said Fowler. “People go to our health care system and they get care, and if they can’t afford it, they still get care but it’s uncompensated care. Uncompensated care actually gets 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 I would say it’s a terrible business model, that we take a growing burden of people who come without compensation and we shift it to a shrinking group of people (small business owners) who struggle to pay for health insurance. We support (expansion of Medicaid) because we believe it ultimately can reduce the sort of piling on effect that’s been happening to paying customers for many years.”

Currently, Michigan hospitals end up providing more than $880 million a year in uncompensated care to patients that are unable to pay, costs that end up being shifted to people who have insurance, employers who pay for it for their workers, and taxpayers.

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