The assumption might be that these funds will be reimbursed by the federal government. Do you really believe that? And even if the feds did cover that cost, where do you think that money is coming from?
As reported by the Mackinac Center, at least thirteen states have already come out in opposition to the expansion of Medicaid in their states. "The New England Journal of Medicine listed the most common reasons cited by governors who opposed or were unsure about committing their states to the expansion:
- The federal government will renege on funding
- Concerns about the impact on state budget
- States need more flexibility, freedom from federal oversight
- States would have to raise taxes to pay for it
- Uncertainty, need more information
- Medicaid is a "broken program," harms its beneficiaries
- Entitlement programs create more dependency
Last July Michigan's House Fiscal Agency published a memo suggesting this state would save money if it accepts the expansion, because we could redistribute some costs from state taxpayers to national taxpayers, including $175 million currently spent on mental health services. However, this conclusion depends on several highly dubious assumptions, the main one being that the feds will actually come through with the extra money promised as part of the expansion." Read the Mackinac article here.
The Heritage foundation has an excellent essay on Medicaid expansion. Read it here.
What can you do about this? The answer lies in the appropriation process. The governor has proposed a budget that would include the expenditure of funds for expanding the base of Medicaid recipients. It will require an appropriation of state funds. You need to contact the chairs of House and Senate appropriations and tell than that you do not support this enormous expansion of a program that is not effective, creates more dependency, adds a huge burden to the state budget and which will likely never be reimbursed by the federal government.
Contact House Approriations Chairman Joe Haveman here and Senate Appropriations Chairman Roger Kahn here. Tell them that you do not support this expansion of Medicaid. Be firm, emphatic and respectful. Before you write them, you might want to read the linked articles here, or do a little research of your own. Just Google "Michigan Medicaid expansion." But please contact these legislators. I will be tracking how many "clicks" go through. If we can send each of these lawmakers 500 short notes, we can get their attention and possibly affect the decisions that these leaders make.