May 21, 2018
The Honorable Rick Snyder
Governor of Michigan
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909
Dear Governor Snyder:
I am writing you today to express my opposition to Senate Bill 897: Medicaid Work Requirements. More importantly, I am urging you not to sign any such inhumane legislation requiring non-exempt Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan enrollees to fulfill work requirements if it reaches your desk.
SB 897 will complicate and even eliminate the cost-effective, life-saving healthcare it provides for residents across Michigan. Not only would this attack on Medicaid roll back the expansion of health care to Michigan’s most vulnerable populations, something that you fought tirelessly to achieve and maintain, but it too would impact the health care provided to those exposed to Flint’s poisoned water. As you know, we worked hard to make sure that Medicaid coverage is made available in Flint to cover children up to age 21 as part of the ongoing efforts to help people affected by the water crisis. Some of these children may work multiple jobs but still may not meet the stipulated work requirements.
I want to emphasize that Medicaid is a health program and not a jobs program. It was created to give people with low incomes health insurance and to improve their health and enable our Michigan residents struggling to make ends meet to get regular checkups, see a doctor when they’re injured, and get medicine when they’re sick. It is reported that most Medicaid recipients that can work are working. Therefore, I don’t quite understand why this legislation is necessary and it seems to me that the authors are searching for a problem that doesn’t exist.
Furthermore, the harm and cost related to this attempt to “hold residents accountable” will go beyond just Medicaid recipients but also be detrimental to small business owners, doctors and medical staff, and state caseworkers. Therefore, it is my opinion that our resources would be better spent investing in job training, transportation, and childcare so Medicaid recipients can get better jobs. I ask that instead of signing legislation into law that will recklessly and callously eliminate essential healthcare coverage for millions of Michigan residents, you look for ways to improve the system and services our state Medicaid program already has in place to help people and employers in all Michigan districts.
Finally and in closing, I would like for you to know that eliminating the unemployment exemption, further distributing injustice, and lowering the number of required work hours are not solutions to this proposed bill. The only solution to prevent this additional stress on Michigan’s most health-burdened and socio-economically disadvantaged residents is for you to stop SB 897 from ever existing. Thank you.
Karen W. Weaver
Mayor, City of Flint