Medicaid expansion, HB 4714, was recently passed in the Michigan House and Senate. However, our representative in the Michigan Senate, John Moolenaar, voted against it. This bill will allow 400,000 residents who are in families close to the federal poverty level to get insurance coverage to provide for their basic health care needs. This Medicaid expansion will be funded 100 percent with federal funds through 2017 and then by 2020 Michigan would be responsible for 10 percent of the cost. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce said that the expansion was critical for the success of Michigan Businesses. Most folks realize that those without health insurance use hospital emergency rooms as primary care facilities after illnesses or injuries have progressed far beyond the routine stage. This adds millions of dollars of expense to our health care system while making treatment and recovery more burdensome for the patient.
Senator Moolenaar's no vote is even more upsetting when one considers that two years ago he voted to have the state of Michigan pay for his health insurance for the rest of his life. At that time he had just over six years of service in the state legislature and he might deserve that benefit but so do hundreds of thousands of our residents who currently can not afford any health care coverage.