By Carol Cain
The conversation continues to simmer over the Affordable Care Act as Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill that expands Medicaid to include almost 500,000 more uninsured in Michigan which is an offshoot of the controversial federal legislation.
The ACA has its share of fans and critics who expressed their views in “The Health Care Act and You,” a 30-minute TV special delving into the legislation and its impact that airs Sunday, Sept 22, at 11:30 a.m. on CBS 62.
The Medicaid expansion will translate into millions of dollars from the federal government for the state.
“A healthier Michigan is an important part of our state’s continued comeback,” Snyder said Monday as he signed the bi-partisan legislation flanked by Democratic Congressman John Dingell, 87, who has talked about healthcare reform over 50 years.
The federal Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. It is intended to lower healthcare costs and make it more available, including to those with no insurance.
The law has been modified since then. The Obama administration surprised many by delaying the business mandate portion of the law to give companies with 50 or more employees an extra year to comply (Jan. 1, 2015).
But the individual mandate goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014.
And a new health insurance exchange, an internet-based marketplace mandated by the ACA, opens in Michigan and every state on Oct. 1. Those who are uninsured or self-insured must sign up. The success of the ACA is riding on people actually signing up.
“This is about the health of fellow Michiganders,” Snyder said as he signed the measure into law.
Some ACA critics applauded the move.
“The expansion of Medicaid provided for by the Affordable Care Act is the way that people who could not otherwise afford health insurance can now qualify for coverage and represents a potential addition of up to $200 million in federal funding for Michigan,” said Jennifer Kluge, president and CEO of the Michigan Business and Professional Association.
The organization is against the ACA because of its negative impact on business, Kluge added.
Dr. Ora Pescovitz, CEO of University of Michigan Health System, offered this take: “The Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction, but is likely not going to solve everything.”
Watch “The Health Care Act and You” 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept 22 on CBS 62.
Contact Carol Cain at email@example.com. She is senior producer/host of “Michigan Matters” which airs 11:30 am Sundays on CBS 62. She writes about business and politics in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. The “Eye on the Future” special — “The Health Care Act and You,” features Bob King, James Haveman, Dan Loepp, Gene Michalski, Nancy Schlichting and numerous others.