Weighing both sides of medicare expansion

Michigan's Medicaid expansion plan would provide health care to 470,000 more people in the state.

People who come to places like the Genesee Community Health Center asking questions about the change in health care coverage.

"About half of our clients are homeless and about 98 percent of them live below the 150 percent poverty level," said Genesee Community Health Center CEO Tim Lawther.

The plan is part of the new Healthcare Reform Act which provides more federal money for states expanding the use of Medicaid coverage for the poor.

"Changing that whole reimbursement structure so that these folks understand that they have options beyond that last ditch care," said Lawther.

Tim Lawther says emergency room care is expensive and time consuming.

Something that Governor Snyder agrees with.

In a June interview, Snyder said he opposes emergency room care as an option for those not included in Medicaid expansion.

"Thatâ??s a terrible answer they could be in a primary care relationship they could get a physical and immunizations," said Snyder.

Groups opposed to expanding Medicaid argue that stretching federal dollars even further is an expense Americans can't afford.

"The question is are we going to pay extra state dollars to enact the law as we have to enact or are we going to take advantage of federal dollars to do that," said Lawther.

With 470,000 Michiganders now exempt from Medicaid coverage they can still qualify for the health insurance marketplace. That gives people federal subsidies to be able to afford private insurance.

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