It’s Thursday, the day we talk Michigan politics with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service. On tap today, the latest happenings around the Medicaid expansion bill; developments in Detroit about whether the selection of the city's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, was in conflict with the Opening Meetings Act; and possible bankruptcy proceedings in the city.
Governor Rick Snyder’s administration intends to appeal a judge’s order to reveal the names of all the candidates he considered as potential emergency managers for Detroit.
A lawsuit claims the hiring process violated the state’s open meetings law.
The judge ordered the state to turn over e-mails and other records related to the search that culminated in hiring Kevyn Orr to steer Detroit out of a financial crisis. The lawsuit claims the decision was made well before a state board publicly interviewed and voted to hire Orr.
An interview with Detroit Free Press Columnist Rochelle Riley.
The city of Detroit is “technically insolvent” and suffers from an “addiction to debt.” That’s according to Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, who described the city’s situation at his first public meeting last night.
About 350 people were on-hand at the start of the meeting, about 250 made it into the meeting but about 100 were left out because of over-crowding.
Detroit Free Press Columnist Rochelle Riley covered the meeting, and she joined us today in the studio.
Deadline Detroit's Jeff Wattrick witnessed the scene outside last night's public meeting with emergency manager Kevyn Orr. Other politicians and cities seem to handle large crowds and dissent without much problem. Detroit politicians, Wattrick argues, "stage manage these things like Soviet bureaucrats."
Patient advocates and healthcare organizations are cheering Governor Rick Snyder’s decision to seek an expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the new federal healthcare law.
The expansion would eventually allow 450,000 people to be added to Medicaid, and sharply reduce the ranks of the un-insured in Michigan.
The governor says it would also reduce the overall cost of healthcare in Michigan. And part of the savings can be banked to cover Michigan’s future costs of the Medicaid expansion.
“This is about being financially responsible," said Snyder. "Just like you’d be setting up at home, let’s set up a health savings account here, to cushion for shocks, for unexpected events, and then to have a thoughtful stream of dollars to minimize costs for the long-term."
Health care groups, patient advocates, and some business groups also support the expansion.
They say unnecessary emergency room visits and people who wait to get treated are driving up the cost of care and the cost of health insurance.
Kris Nicholoff is with the Michigan Osteopathic Association. He says that would eventually almost cut in half the number of people in Michigan who don’t have health insurance.
“450,000 people will get coverage that don’t have it right now. Now, you’ve been to the University of Michigan’s football stadium? Four times that. Picture that right now – four times that full patients will receive care if we expand Medicaid," said Nicholoff.
The Medicaid expansion will be part of Governor Snyder’s budget proposal. It will be presented tomorrow. Then it has to be approved by the Legislature. The governor says the expansion will save money in the long-term.
Over 10 years, Michigan could save a billion dollars and get more than 600,000 previously uninsured people health coverage.
That's the upside of expanding Medicaid in Michigan, according to a new study from the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation (CHRT) in Ann Arbor.
The federal government can't force states to expand their programs, but they are offering big incentives: for 10 years, the feds will pick up 100% of the costs of covering newly-eligible Medicaid patients, as part of the Affordable Care Act.