Detroit News: Michigan's uninsured rate drops to 11%


(Photo: Governor Snyder signs Healthy Michigan plan into law)

The number of Michiganders without health insurance dropped to 11 percent last year according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And that number is expected to keep going down thanks to the Healthy Michigan plan that Governor Snyder signed into law, as The Detroit News reports:

Michigan’s ranks of the uninsured declined last year and are likely to decline again, according to experts and data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Michiganians without health insurance fell to 1.07 million or 11 percent in 2013 from 1.11 million or 11.4 percent in 2012, according to a sample of residents surveyed by the Census Bureau. The state tied Ohio for the 15th lowest uninsured rate in the country.

It was far below the national rate of 14.5 percent in 2013.

The state should experience a further decline in the uninsured because 386,000 adults signed up for Michigan’s version of the expansion of the federal Medicaid health care plan for low-income residents, a Michigan League Public Policy official said Tuesday.

Gov. Rick Snyder helped push Medicaid expansion through the Legislature last year and it took effect April 1. Medicaid now covers people making up to 138 percent of the poverty rate — $32,600 a year for a family of four — for the first three years.

“We will see real progress in the years ahead, thanks to Gov. Snyder and the state lawmakers who supported the Healthy Michigan Plan so more in Michigan can get affordable health care,” said Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy. “This is good not only for the people getting the coverage they need, it’s also good for our state’s businesses, communities, and economy.”

From now until Election Day, Michiganians will see an endless stream of political ads. With Terri Lynn Land gaining momentum, Democrats nationwide are hitting the panic button. Voters have gotten to know Land, and they like what they see.

Over the next four weeks, Congressman Gary Peters and his allies will spend nearly five million dollars on television ads in the attempt to save his campaign. $2.6 million of ads about Land are scheduled to run over the next three weeks, bought and paid for by the radical, California billionaire friend of Peters named Tom Steyer.

Steyer has pledged to spend $100 million this year to help Democrats maintain control of the U.S. Senate, and Michigan is one of his top targets. In return, Steyer expects Peters to get in line and support the job-killing policies he promotes, such as opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline and supporting cap-and-trade.

There is only one candidate running for U.S. Senate whose agenda will hurt Michiganians, and that candidate is Peters. He opposes policies that grow our economy, create jobs and ensure that the next generation is better off than we are.

To make matters worse, Peters’ campaign is based on falsehoods.

Peters claims to oppose outsourcing and offshoring American jobs after sending a lucrative Michigan contract overseas, voting for legislation and reserving earmarks for companies that outsource jobs and directly profiting from the practice of offshoring himself.

When Peters took to the streets with the Occupy Detroit movement a few years ago, he failed to mention he was an executive for two of Wall Street’s biggest banks, banks that participated in high-risk trading practices that caused the 2008 financial crisis, the very thing the movement was organized to protest. To make matters worse, the bank he marched on was actually a donor to his campaign.

Peters didn’t lose his house or his savings during the recession, because he built a small fortune while creating the crisis. He claimed to be “suffering like everybody else,” while sitting on a net worth of an estimated $426,000 – $2.5 million during the recession. According to Peters’ most recent personal financial disclosure his net-worth at the end of 2012 was valued at $970,000-$3.9 million. That is an increase of 55%-127% since the height of the recession.

The problem here isn’t Peters’ wealth, but that he was doing just fine during the recession. He only claimed to be “suffering” to garner votes.

Michiganians deserve better.