State Representative Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) is sponsoring MiCare (HB 4966), a universal single-payer health plan for Michigan. If passed by the Legislature, MiCare would go into effect only after its funding mechanism was ratified by a vote of the people. Access to health care is a right, and our state will be stronger economically when all Michiganders can live free of the constant threat of medical bankruptcy. The pandemic has taught us that we can’t maintain a system of health care that fails to meet the needs of so many.

MiCare will:

Cover Everyone

All Michigan residents will be eligible for comprehensive coverage including hospitalization, mental health care, long term care, dental care, reproductive health and prescription drug coverage. The MiCare proposal also sets up a feasibility study of including long-term care costs. About half a million Michiganders currently have no health insurance, including 80,000 children.

Save Lives

More than 1,000 Michigan residents die each year because they lack health insurance. Many more are disabled by health conditions they cannot afford to treat. Life expectancies in the U.S. have been falling behind those of our peer countries for more than a generation. We have the resources to fix this injustice; every other industrialized nation provides some form of universal health coverage while spending far less. It is time for the people of Michigan to decide what kind of health care system we want for ourselves and our neighbors.

Rein in Prices

Single-payer systems let all of us unite to negotiate health care costs. MiCare will supercharge this consumer leverage by pegging prescription drug prices to those negotiated by the federal Veterans Affairs system and setting health care prices at Medicare plus 25%. Prices could be adjusted as needed to ensure access to providers in rural and underserved areas.

Preserve Provider Choice

Doctors and other practitioners will maintain their autonomy, and patients will remain free to use the provider of their choice.

Health care professionals will see fair reimbursement rates and a streamlined administrative process that will reduce burdensome business expenses that will save them time and money.

Get insurance companies out of

Michiganders’ medical decisions

MiCare will be publicly administered, not contracted out to insurance companies. This will remove the profit motive that currently incentivizes insurers to deny necessary health care. It will also create cost savings; publicly run systems like Medicare spend 2-3% on overhead, while private insurers spend 12-18%.

Make Michigan Businesses More Competitive

MiCare will cover employees so that businesses don’t have to bear the administrative hassle and the cost of health insurance. In 2020, the employer contributions for health insurance averaged $5,243 per single employee and $15,166 for family coverage. A single unexpected high-cost illness can drive a self-insured employer out of business. Without these burdens, Michigan businesses will be better positioned to compete on a national and global scale.

Save Money for Michiganders

Based on projections for similar proposals in other states, MiCare is expected to result in a net savings of $20 billion. By eliminating out-of-pocket costs like co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles, MiCare will also eliminate the large unexpected medical expenses that even insured families face under the current system.

Leverage Existing Health Care Spending

MiCare will re-direct existing health care spending into a single-payer system. The state will seek to include federal health care dollars from Medicaid and the ACA marketplace in the system. Although new state revenue will also be needed, this is expected to displace private health care spending, resulting in a direct savings for the vast majority of Michiganders and their employers.

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