State: Keeping Expanded Medicaid Costs $800M Under GOP Bill

LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Top officials in Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration say it could cost Michigan up to $800 million a year to keep the state’s Medicaid expansion program at current enrollment levels if cuts approved by the U.S. House are enacted.

State Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon gave the estimate Monday during an event in which Snyder aides and advocates defended the expanded Medicaid program.

The House bill (known as the American Health Care Act or Trumpcare), which is pending in the Senate, would halt extra federal funds in 2020 that 31 states get for former President Barack Obama’s expansion of Medicaid — the federal-state health care program for poorer and disabled Americans.

Lyon and state budget director Al Pscholka indicated Michigan would not have enough money to keep the entire Medicaid expansion intact.

As Snyder has long touted the success of the Medicaid expansion, dubbed “Healthy Michigan,”  which he said would encourage personal responsibility and reduce unpaid care in the state. Signed into law by Snyder in  2013, it expanded Medicaid eligibility to cover those with incomes of up to 137 percent of the federal poverty level.

Snyder says the new federal GOP legislation could also lead to “significant cost increases” on older residents who buy insurance in the individual market. The governor, speaking out against the GOP plan back in March, also pointed out that half of all Michigan children are served by the traditional Medicaid program, which would also be affected by the bill.

Snyder says that while the federal health care law, known as Obamacare, is not working “in many respects,” he believes the replacement bill “needs to be improved.”

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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