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State activists brace for next round in healthcare fight

A hospital emergency room entrance.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Health care providers and patient advocates in Michigan are watching to see what’s in a re-vamped Republican health care overhaul once it’s rolled out in Washington.

RoAnne Chaney is with the Michigan Disability Resource Center. Chaney says she’s very concerned about potential cuts to Medicaid. She says an overhaul could affect whether people with disabilities can remain in their homes.

“People really need that,” said Chaney. “People who are getting home and community-based services. That’s the optional services that they look at first to cut, so that affects a lot of people with disabilities.” 

Governor Rick Snyder says he also has reservations about possible cuts to Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan program that insures working poor families.

“Our employees, 8,000 of them, like getting their paychecks every two weeks, and not getting paid for services certainly complicates how we are able to conduct our business every day,” said John Shaski with Sparrow Health Systems in Lansing. Shaski says Obamacare has reduced the number of people who show up in emergency rooms without coverage. He says changes to the law will have consequences for medical care and the economy.

Advocates and providers say they also hope a new Senate Republican plan will protect coverage for pre-existing conditions. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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