Groups representing millions of patients and health care consumers across the country issued the following statement today in response to the passage of SB 897:
"Our organizations are deeply troubled by the compromise on work requirements that has passed the Michigan legislature, and we call on Governor Snyder to veto it.
"If Governor Snyder signs this bill into law, he jeopardizes the Healthy Michigan Plan and healthcare coverage for 670,000 Michiganders, including those living with serious and chronic health conditions. The bill would create a trigger that would end Healthy Michigan (Michigan's Medicaid expansion program) if the waiver is not approved by the federal government. The waiver, if approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, would require individuals making between $12,060 and $16,643 (100% and 138% of the federal poverty line) per year to pay more for their coverage, as well as requires them to comply with a new healthy behavior assessment.
"The legislation would also double the amount of out-of-pocket costs for sharing for Medicaid enrollees who earn approximately $12,000 a year – potentially making health care unaffordable for thousands of Michigan families. Indeed, the Michigan House Fiscal Agency estimates up to 54,000 Michiganders will lose their health care coverage as a result of this bill.
"The legislation would also take health care coverage away from low-income families and individuals who cannot prove they work 80 hours a month or more. Family members who are providing care to loved ones, people who are between jobs and those who are too sick to work could lose access to lifesaving treatment.
"Administering these requirements will not help low-income families improve their circumstances but will lead them to battling administrative red tape to keep coverage. With no way to circumvent this penalty, patients could face serious – even life or death – consequences.
"This legislation would also hurt the state's bottom line. Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia have estimated that setting up the administrative systems to track and verify exemptions and hours worked would cost tens of millions of dollars – diverting valuable resources away from health care and other important programs like education and infrastructure. Health care dollars should be used on delivering care, not creating bureaucratic red tape for our state's most vulnerable residents.
"Access to quality health coverage improves health and allows Michiganders to work and be there for their families. We call on Governor Snyder to reconsider this so-called "compromise" and prioritize the health of its most vulnerable citizens by rejecting this dangerous law."
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
National Alliance on Mental Illness
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.