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What repealing the Affordable Care Act could mean for Michigan hospitals

A hospital emergency room entrance.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
“Having people come to the hospital without an insurance card and late in their illness is not the best outcome for anyone,” said Laura Appell, senior vice president and chief innovation officer at the MHA.";s:

All this week on Stateside, we look at how the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will affect Michigan residents, hospitals and governments.

There are hundreds of hospitals in Michigan, and each of them has in one way or another been affected by the Affordable Care Act. So what would a repeal of the law mean for Michigan’s hospitals?

Laura Appel is senior vice president and chief innovation officer at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA). She said that, while the state’s hospitals have had issues with certain aspects of the law, an outright repeal would have negative consequences. 

Some one million Michigan residents have gained coverage through the ACA, including 600,000 under the Healthy Michigan program. For hospitals, that has meant fewer patients with no way of paying for the treatment they receive.

“The number of people who come to the hospital without some kind of insurance card has decreased by 50%,” Appel told us. “We also see that the rate of uncompensated care, the burden on hospitals to provide care for free has gone down dramatically as well.”

Appel said that rescinding health coverage from the 600,000 people covered under Health Michigan would be "heartbreaking."

Listen to our full interview with Laura Appel, vice president and chief innovation officer at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, above.

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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