Gov. Rick Snyder boasts "Healthy Michigan" successes during Obamacare repeal efforts
LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - Right now Congress is figuring out how they’ll repeal Obamacare weeks before President Elect Donald Trump moves into the Oval Office.
Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder thinks at least one part of Obamacare is successful.
In 2014, Gov. Snyder enacted "Healthy Michigan" where more than 600,000 residents have since signed up and now receive low-cost health care coverage.
Healthy Michigan overhauled the state’s Medicaid system which was mandated by Obamacare.
Gov. Snyder says that Healthy Michigan is working.
The office of the Governor tells us, "there has also been a huge drop in the number of people showing up at hospitals without insurance, which is a positive trend that saves a huge amount of money in the health care system overall."
The Governor's office adds that "Healthy Michigan and Obamacare are not synonymous – the Governor took a very unique approach to Michigan’s model – adding requirements for health and wellness on the front ends, and personal responsibility through Health Savings Accounts."
"I commend the Governor for understanding how important it is that we continue health care coverage for low income working people as well as Seniors," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow. "Eighty percent Medicaid funding goes to fund seniors in nursing homes."
As Gov. Snyder defends the merits of Healthy Michigan, Republican lawmakers in Washington D.C. are planning the repeal of Obamacare, a campaign promise Congressman Bill Huizenga and Speaker Paul Ryan vow to keep.
"We've got a plan to replace it. If people go to www.betterway.speaker.gov we've got it all laid out as to what the House Republicans believe is the answer to repealing and replacing Obamacare," Rep. Bill Huizenga told us before the November Election.
“We can provide Michigan residents relief from Obamacare and we should do it immediately," Huizenga told us on Thursday. "Obamacare is failing patients who are seeing their personal costs skyrocket while their options dwindle. More Michigan residents may have an insurance card; however, that doesn’t mean they have access to quality and affordable care. Obamacare has made premiums unaffordable for the vast majority of Americans while increasing out-of-pocket costs, deductibles, and co-payments.”
House Speaker Ryan is paving the way to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
"The law is failing, families who live pay check to paycheck are getting hit with double digit premium increase after double digit premium increase with massive deductible increases," said Speaker Ryan. "We have to provide relief."
Huizenga told us in a statement that he believes Michigan residents should have access to quality and affordable health coverage.
“We can deliver on this by gutting Obamacare," he said. "This does not mean that people will lose protections for pre-existing conditions or that insurance companies will be allowed to turn away customers because of costs associated with long-term care. We can maintain and even expand these important patient protections, just as we have proposed in the House Republican ‘Better Way’ Plan. We should restore health care freedom and choice. House Republicans have offered 48 specific measures that will ensure Michigan residents are able to purchase the coverage they want, not the high-cost coverage dictated by Obamacare.”
Stabenow responded to Huizenga's comments regarding "gutting Obamacare."
"It reminds me of someone saying that I'm going to burn down my house because somewhere down the road I'd like to have a new house, but I don't have a plan. I don't know how to pay for it. I don't know what's going to happen, so it makes no sense," said Sen. Stabenow.
It’s unclear how the Republican replacement of Obamacare would impact Healthy Michigan and the thousands and Michiganders who use it to sign up for health care coverage.
Democrats are warning that the repeal of Obamacare could harm millions of people.
"Thirty million people. That's the combined population of 19 states are going to lose health insurance," said U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine.
“The Affordable Care Act has brought the rate of uninsured Americans to record lows," Sen. Gary Peters told us. "Dismantling the health care law with no clear plan to replace it would strip away health care coverage from millions of Americans, undermine the financial security of Medicare and increase prescription drug prices, premiums and out-of-pocket costs for Michigan seniors and families. Congress should focus on finding bipartisan ways to improve the Affordable Care Act and ensure that all Americans can access quality and affordable health care.”
Sen. Debbie Stabenow tells us that she’ll fight Republican efforts on the Hill.
"This is not about politics this should not be about Republicans and Democrats, it's about basic right to medical care," she said.
It will be tough for Republicans to simply repeal Obamacare. That’s because Democratic U.S. Senators can filibuster the full scale repeal, which Sen. Stabenow said she is prepared to do.
Republicans could choose to defund Obamacare through budget bills, which Democratic Senators can do nothing about.
Sen. Stabenow said it will take three of her Republican colleagues to vote no in the U.S. Senate to stop the defunding of the Affordable Care Act.