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Repercussions of not acting on Medicaid expansion starting to come home
LANSING, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Passing Medicaid expansion was the first step, but the impacts of the Republican-controlled legislature delaying it are starting to sink in across the state.
On the financial side alone, Michigan will pass up $7 million a day in federal money, part of which would have gone to hospitals.
"Some would interpret that as being pure politics," said Borgess Health CEO Paul Spaude. "If that's the reality to get consensus and collaboration, we're on the journey, rather than not on the journey at all."
Spaude says Borgess alone spends $13 million per year in care it's never paid for.
This Medicaid money would help with reimbursement.
"It's our best estimate Borgess would receive about $2 million, and have about $2 million less in charity care," Spaude said.
Then there is the patient impact.
About 13,000 in Kalamazoo County would now be eligible for coverage, but they will continue to wait on going to the doctor.
"If we could see those folks before they're critically ill, start them with a primary care provider, see them, see their children, get them immunized," said Dr. Elizabeth Burns, the Associate Dean of the WMU School of Medicine.
"We're hoping some of those hospitalizations, some of those emergency room visits could be avoided," Dr. Burns added.
The federal government also still has to approve Michigan's plan.
There's no guarantee that it will, but Governor Snyder said he doesn't anticipate a problem.