LANSING, Mich. – The Senate Government Operations Committee today voted to send legislation that would create a free market alternative to Medicaid expansion to the full Senate for consideration by the Chamber. Senate Bills 459 and 460, introduced by Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) and known as the Patient-Centered Care Act, would enact a patient-centered healthcare plan that expands access to quality care without expanding government.
SB 459 provides the regulatory infrastructure that would enable a low cost, high quality care, free market environment within the confines of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). SB 460 would convert current Medicaid enrollees to low cost, high quality Qualified Health Plans featuring Direct Primary Care Services and High Deductible Health Plans wrapped within a Health Savings Account. The net impact of both of these bills will be to lower healthcare costs for everyone in the state while promoting better quality of care.
Testifying alongside Senator Colbeck in support of the legislation were Avik Roy, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Tom Valenti, President and COO of BlueSky Health and Kenneth A. Fisher, M.D., Docs4PatientCare, MI Chapter President.
Roy pointed out that Medicaid already consumes 45% of spending in Michigan. "As Medicaid continues to expand, it will drive up that percentage of the state budget and crowd out funding for all other priorities, including education."
"Senator Colbeck's plan would improve Medicaid patients' access to physicians, improve their health, provide protection from economic catastrophe while helping to control inflated health care costs, and save the state significant resources," said Fisher.
"Myself and BlueSky Health support Senator Colbeck's efforts and Senate bills 459 and 460. This offers a true reform for the citizens of Michigan," said Valenti.
The Patient-Centered Care Act would:
- Make quality of patient care for all citizens the first priority
- Expand access to quality care without expanding government assistance
- Convert existing Medicaid population to commercial insurance featuring Direct Primary Care Services plus High-Deductible Health Plans within a Health Savings Account
- Return healthcare decision-making to doctors and patients
- Return insurance to risk management not benefit management
- Limit government role to determination of government assistance eligibility
- Protect patient health information from government
- Make it more affordable for employers to purchase healthcare for their employees
- Mitigate the reduction in employees' hours due to the ramifications of the ACA
- Use our free market healthcare system to accelerate the growth of our economy
"The Patient-Centered Care Act provides us with an opportunity to reinvent Michigan and create a healthcare system that is a model for the rest of the nation. We need to go beyond simply keeping up with the other states falling in line to implement Obamacare without significant innovation. We can create a healthcare system in Michigan that goes beyond taking care of segments of our society to easing the burdens of everyone in our society. Creating a healthcare system that helps all of Michigan's residents is truly Pure Michigan." Colbeck concluded.