Last week, I attended the annual Mackinac Policy Conference because we in the Health System are concerned about the well-being of our state’s citizens and our state’s economy —and the health care industry plays a big part in both. As such, it is incumbent upon the University of Michigan Health System as a leading academic medical center to make sure that health care issues remain a priority among the decision-makers in Michigan.
The state Legislature needs to continue working toward increasing Medicaid coverage to more state residents. This is one of the most important issues in the health care space right now. An additional 450,000 Michigan residents will receive coverage if the state Legislature elects to increase coverage using funding available because of the federal Affordable Care Act. Research shows people with health care coverage receive better care earlier, before problems become more serious. And we know that fewer sick days and lower employer health care costs are good for business of all kinds. Increasing coverage will keep the state’s citizens – and the state’s pocketbook – healthier. The bottom line is that a healthier community is good for the well-being of Michigan.
The Mackinac experience was even better than I had hoped. I talked with policymakers, business leaders, government officials, health care peers and journalists who all share a common goal and interest in hastening Michigan’s economic revival and moving Michigan forward. I am energized and inspired by what I learned and by the people that I met. This is an amazing state that is full of very driven and passionate people. It was gratifying to be with so many people trying to do the right things for the state of Michigan. I look forward to continuing our work to support this effort.
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