State House Passes Medicaid Expansion; Will Cost Taxpayers $1.3 Billion over Next Decade

Vote based on faulty assumption that the federal government will approve requested waiversforever’

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013
Ted O'Neil
Media Relations Manager

MIDLAND — The Michigan House today voted 75-32 to concur with Senate changes to House Bill 4714 that will expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

A recent Mackinac Center study revealed several flaws with Medicaid expansion, including increased costs to Michigan taxpayers of $1.3 billion over the next decade, and previous studies that show as many as 60 percent of those who enroll in Medicaid expansions drop private insurance in order to do so. Other research shows this move will help increase the national debt by some $22.5 billion, fail to decrease emergency room visits by Medicaid recipients and lead to worse health outcomes for recipients.

The Legislature voted in favor of the expansion based on the belief that the federal government will give the green light to waivers that HB 4714 hinges on. A new study released last week jointly by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and The Buckeye Institute in Ohio shows this might be wishful thinking at best.

“The Medicaid ‘reforms’ were just a cover story for Republicans,” said Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst. “The ones that will be approved won’t do much, and the ones that would make a difference (a 48-month benefit cap) won’t be approved. Everyone in Lansing knows this, and also knows that once $3 billion annually in borrowed federal dollars start flowing into this state’s hospitals the expansion will never be rescinded. This has been an exceptionally cynical exercise all around.”

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland, Mich. The largest state-based free-market think tank in the country celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

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