Michigan Small Business Says NO to Medicaid Expansion

MedicaidA majority of small business owners surveyed by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) oppose expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act as proposed by Governor Snyder in his recent budget address.

“However well intended the policy, small business owners fear that the federal government will renege on their funding commitments and stick Michigan with a great portion of the cost,” said NFIB State Director Charlie Owens. “They also believe that, in the long run, expanding entitlement programs like Medicaid create more dependency and discourage people from seeking better jobs and opportunities.”

The Affordable Care Act (often referred to as “Obamacare”) included a requirement that states expand Medicaid eligibility for all individuals and families up to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. However, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allows states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion requirement. Governor Snyder has proposed going along with the expansion and setting aside projected savings from patients that are now covered by state general funds that would be covered by federal funds under the expanded program. The savings set aside would be used to cover the eventual 10 percent that Michigan would have to cover after federal funding is reduced in later years. Governor Snyder’s says that his plan provides funding for 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion until the year 2035.

When asked if Michigan should expand Medicaid as allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act, 67 percent of those surveyed said NO, 22 percent said YES and 11 percent were undecided. Owens credited Governor Snyder’s approach of banking savings to offset future program costs for a response that was less negative than similar Medicaid expansion surveys conducted in other states.

“The Governor and his team deserve credit for trying to structure the expansion to anticipate and address future funding reductions by the federal government,” said Owens. “But our members are skeptical of budget assumptions that depend on the discipline of future lawmakers and governors to keep their hands off those funds when another budget shortfall looms or for some other politically popular purpose presents itself.”

The legislature is expected to take up the issue of Medicaid expansion in the coming weeks.

To view the survey question go HERE

Go HERE for more information about NFIB.

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About Charles Owens

Charles Owens has been advocating the interests of small business in the Michigan Legislature for over 25 years, beginning with his tenure at the Michigan Institute of Laundering and Dry-cleaning and currently with the National Federation of Independent Business / Michigan. As the State Director of one of Michigan's most respected small business organizations, Owens is responsible for directing the NFIB in its mission to maintain the viability of small business in the face of expanded legislative and regulatory challenges. Owens has been an active participant in the legislative debate over numerous landmark Michigan issues including: the Michigan Environmental Protection Act, inheritance tax, tort liability reform, Unemployment Insurance reform, Workers’ Compensation, and Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Act (MIOSHA) issues. Owens and the NFIB spearheaded the efforts of other small business groups in the fight for fairness and equity for small business in the debate over the repeal and replacement for the Michigan Business Tax. Owens is a 25 year member of the Capitol Club, a dedicated group of association executives committed to the advancement of legislative advocacy for their respective organizations. In 2005 he was elected by his peers to be President of the organization. In 2006, Owens was ranked as number five of the top ten single interest individual lobbyists in Michigan by Inside Michigan Politics. Under his leadership, NFIB was also ranked in the top twenty lobbyist organizations and top ten single interest lobbying organizations by the same publication. Originally a native of Rockford, Illinois, Owens graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelors Degree in Finance and Business Administration. follow on twitter: @OwensNFIB
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One Response to Michigan Small Business Says NO to Medicaid Expansion

  1. Pingback: Medicaid Expansion 3/14/2013 | Wiener Associates

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