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n WCMS Speaks Out Against Medicaid Work Requirements
Governor Rick Snyder P.O. Box 30013 Lansing, MI 48909
Dear Governor Snyder:
On behalf of the Washtenaw County Medical Society (WCMS), we write
to express our opposition to Senate Bill 897, the “Social Welfare Act.” As physicians charged with providing life-saving care for all patients, particularly our most vulnerable, we are aptly aware that this legislation will create signi cant barriers for those struggling to receive the most essential health care services.
WCMS is the leading physician medical association for legislative action and community outreach in Washtenaw County. As a medical society comprised of more than 1,000 physicians representing various specialties, we pride ourselves on caring for patients across a wide-range of socioeconomic backgrounds and health needs. While we laud the bill’s alleged intent to “prepare able-bodied adults for a life of self- suf ciency,” the bill’s language in its current form stands in stark opposition to this goal.
We are concerned that misperceptions in this bill and its heavy- handedness will not increase employment, reduce costs, or improve access to health care. Data shows that work requirements make it harder for Medicaid bene ciaries to both get and stay covered. Of roughly 25 million people nationally who could be subject to work requirements, 60% are already working and 79% have at least one worker in the family. Excluding those who aren’t working, more than 80% are in school or report an illness, disability, or caregiving responsibilities that keep them from working (Katch, Wagner, and Aron-Dine)1. In Michigan, most Medicaid bene ciaries are already working, or have one or more exceptions to the proposed work requirement. Additionally, those with serious mental illness or physical impairments may face additional challenges in meeting new documentation and paperwork requirements. Further, the  nancial burden that the State is tasked with in administering work requirements will outweigh any potential savings created by disqualifying Medicaid recipients. As physicians, we know that Medicaid coverage is critical in reducing uncompensated care and alleviating unnecessary  nancial stressors for patients.
We strongly urge Michigan’s elected of cials to reject this bill in its current form. We remain committed to helping families and serving our communities in the best ways possible. WCMS welcomes the opportunity to work together to develop reasonable solutions in pursuit of our mutual goal of optimizing access to health care and community safety.
Joseph O. Nnodim, MD, PhD, FACP, AGSF WCMS President
Gabrielle Szlenkier WCMS Executive Director
1 income-families-access-to-care-and-worsen#_ftn2
Volume 70 • Number 3 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN 25
On behalf of the Governor, thank you for your recent submission to our of ce regarding your concern with the Senate Bill 897. We appreciate people taking the time to provide suggestions and comments on how to improve this great state and our government. We are working hard towards that goal and value your comments and ideas.
On June 22, 2018, Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 897 to adjust the requirements for health care coverage under the state’s successful Healthy Michigan program, which has enrolled more than 670,000 people since 2014.
“Our Healthy Michigan program has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Michiganders, and I’m very proud it has been so successful,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “The original estimates were that 400,000 people without health care would be able to obtain it after the creation of Healthy Michigan, and today more than 670,000 people have coverage. I am committed to ensuring the program stays in place and that Michiganders continue to live healthier lives because of it.”
Under the adjusted requirements, bene ciaries will be required to have at least 80 hours per month at a part-time job, a postsecondary educational institution or high school equivalency test training, a job training program, volunteer work or community service, an internship, or substance abuse treatment. Those exempted from the requirements include anyone age 63 or older, disabled persons, pregnant women, full-time students, children, a parent of a dependent child younger than age 6, a recipient of unemployment bene ts and anyone under age 21 who had previously been in foster care.
Medicaid is a program administered by the federal government, and any adjustments to the program must receive federal approval. With Michigan’s current waiver for Healthy Michigan set to expire at the end of 2018, Governor Snyder earlier this year met with federal of cials at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to review the adjustments under Senate Bill 897, and expects approval to be granted before the current waiver expires. The language in Senate Bill 897 provides continued health care coverage for bene ciaries until February 1, 2020, even if the waiver renewal request is not approved.
Senate Bill 897, sponsored by state Senator Mike Shirkey, is now Public Act 208 of 2018.
For more information on the adjustments to Healthy Michigan coverage requirements, please use the following link: healthy-michigan-program-2d6bc8e64409.
Again, thank you for your correspondence and your interest in this topic. Should you have further questions or comments regarding this or any other state-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact Governor Snyder’s of ce again.
John D. Byrd II
Interim Manager of Constituent Relations Executive Of ce of Governor Rick Snyder 517-335-7858

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