June 7, 2018

Gov. Snyder: Veto Medicaid work requirements

Governor Rick Snyder
P.O. Box 30113
Lansing, MI 48909

Dear Governor Snyder:

Thanks to your leadership, the Healthy Michigan program made it possible for our state to make huge strides toward safeguarding the health and well-being of all Michigan residents. As you have rightfully noted on numerous occasions, we’ve made real progress over the last few years. The number of uninsured is at an all-time low and unpaid medical costs have dropped substantially across our health systems.

This is the direct result of the tremendous bi-partisan effort you led in 2013. We were proud to stand with you in support as we strove to achieve what was clearly in the best interest of everyone in our state. The time has come to stand together once again as leaders in the legislature seek to roll back these gains by imposing poorly conceived work requirements on struggling Michiganders and their families who receive Medicaid.

We urge you to oppose these harmful Medicaid work requirements and, should it find its way to your desk, we implore you to stand by your landmark achievement and veto this bill.

While United Way for Southeastern Michigan supports efforts to help those with the ability to seek and find gainful employment, Medicaid is not a work program. It is a health care program, and there is no evidence that threatening access to essential health services will do anything to assist struggling Michiganders in finding a job. In fact, this would more likely hurt families by eliminating their access to health care while costing taxpayers more than it would ever save by increasing bureaucratic red tape and administration.

Additionally, anyone, working or not, who loses coverage will still need health care. Without Medicaid, these individuals will no longer be able to afford the care they need, leading to increased uncompensated costs for hospitals and doctors’ offices that will inevitably drive up insurance costs for everyone else in Michigan. Ultimately, this proposal will not increase employment, improve access to health care or save taxpayer dollars. Nor will it improve the cost or quality of care for anyone in Michigan. What it will do is create new barriers between struggling people and the essential health services they need.

Medicaid is an efficient, effective program which ensures all Michigan residents have access to quality health care while safeguarding costs for all of us. Please do not support legislation that takes the program’s focus away from that mission. Redirecting dollars currently used to provide people with healthcare to fund a new government system designed solely to cut people off it isn’t just bad policy, it’s irresponsible and cruel.

We can’t afford to go backwards. Please stand up for the people of Michigan and stop SB 897.

Thank you for hearing our concerns, for your leadership on this issue, and for your service to our state.

Dr. Deirdre Young
Vice President of Health & Equity