Michigan's Medicaid expansion could be template for other states

Michigan's recent decision to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act could provide a template for other states with a majority of conservative lawmakers to similarly expand coverage, Crain's Detroit Business reported.

The bipartisan effort in Michigan could prove more appealing to lawmakers in the more than two dozen states that have yet to expand their Medicaid eligibility, according to Crain's.

Michigan's legislature recently expanded Medicaid coverage to 133 percent of the federal poverty level after months of wrangling in its GOP-controlled statehouse. The program includes incentives for enrollees to improve their health, and require them to pay some premiums and co-payments or move to private insurance after four years in the program. The state will also operate a Medicaid "lockbox" that would contain any savings reaped from other changes in the Medicaid program.

"This is one of few examples where Republicans and Democrats came up with the same approach (to combine) public and private goals to afford Medicaid expansion for the people in Michigan," John Ayanian, M.D., director of the University of Michigan's Institute for Health Care Policy and Innovation, told Crain's.

However, few states that are particularly conservative have shown any interest in expanding Medicaid. And some, such as Oklahoma, are still actively trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act in federal court.

To learn more:
- read the Crain's Detroit Business article

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