After championing a Medicaid expansion program in Michigan — which was part and parcel of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) — Gov. Rick Snyder now says that Obamacare is a failure.
Tell that to the 600,000+ working Michiganders who now have health care, many for the first time.
When the Healthy Michigan Program was set up by the Legislature in 2013, the governor’s pressure on hesitant Republican lawmakers was instrumental. Snyder understood that the state stood to gain far more than it would spend in terms of federal dollars to care for the health of low-income Michiganders.
And he was right. Healthy Michigan has not only brought health care to more than 600,000 people, it has also reduced the number of non-emergency emergency room visits, which lowers the cost of health care for everyone.
That’s not all, of course. The ACA has ended exceptions for people with pre-existing conditions, ended lifetime maximums on health insurance policies, ensured that everyone can receive basic wellness care free of charge and allowed adult children to stay on parents’ plans to the age of 26. All of those, by the way, are benefits that exist for anyone who has a health plan, whether they get it through their employer, on the health care exchange or through a program like Healthy Michigan.
But knowing all those benefits, Snyder has the nerve to turn around and call the ACA a “failure.”
Speaking after he and several other members of the National Governors Association met with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other members of Trump’s administration, Snyder spoke about the 2010 health care reform law in what may be his toughest rhetoric to date, saying “it hasn’t worked” and that insurance access markets are “collapsing.”
Trump jeopardizes Michigan’s plan to raise population
“Now is the time to step up and say … can we make things better?” Snyder said outside the West Wing. “And that’s where I appreciate the confidence we’ve been shown by the president to reach out to the governors. … I’m in my seventh year as a governor and I’ve never seen anything like this in terms of outreach by both the administration and Congress.”
No one is arguing that the ACA is perfect. Even the most ardent leftist among us would say that it could be vastly improved upon (hint: single-payer). But you can’t negotiate with terrorists, and that is basically what Trump is when he suggests killing the ACA without a replacement at hand, thereby robbing millions of people of health care coverage.
Exactly why Snyder wants to cozy up to someone like Trump at the expense of 600,000 now-healthy Michganders, plus millions more who now can get coverage for pre-existing conditions, etc., is a mystery. He’s certainly not doing the people of his state any afaors.