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      Snyder talks Medicaid with small businesses

      Governor Rick Snyder visited with small business owners and employees Wednesday morning at GS Engineering in Houghton to continue the discussion of the Healthy Michigan plan.

      President of GS Engineering, Glen Simula, said he is concerned that the rising cost of health care is unbearable for his business and employees.

      â??Just received our renewal for Blue Cross last week and our rates are going up--estimated rates--66 to 70 percent next year,â?? said Simula. â??Thatâ??s just unsustainable for a small company like ourselves.â??

      Thatâ??s where Snyder said the Healthy Michigan plan comes into play. The plan seeks to expand Medicaid coverage by providing health insurance to nearly a half million uninsured Michiganders over the next four years.

      Snyder said the plan would alleviate the financial burden of higher premiums placed on insured citizens by uninsured citizens visiting the hospital.

      â??We are paying for all those extra costs to the emergency room, too, all the rest of Michigan is,â?? explained Snyder. â??So, itâ??s a win for us, also. So, from a personal level, itâ??s a huge win for the uninsured. From a financial point of view, itâ??s a win for all Michiganders.â??

      Michiganders, under the Healthy Michigan plan, would be required to pay a premium, which Snyder said could be as low as one or two percent of their income.

      â??The idea there is, then theyâ??re taking more responsibility for their own care because they can have that premium get reduced to basically nothing if they go get a physical,â?? he said. â??So, in some ways, thereâ??s a cost, but they can offset that cost by keeping themselves healthier, which, I think, is a great motivation.â??

      Under the Affordable Care Act, states are required to establish a health care plan by 2014. If they fail to do so, the federal government will step in and create one.

      Governor Snyder said he urges people to voice their concerns and hopes a vote is made by the end of the summer.

      â??I encourage our citizens to speak out to any senator and say, â??Please vote yes and please vote soon,â?? because Healthy Michigan is something we shouldnâ??t wait on,â?? he said.

      Governor Snyder has set up an online petition where people can show their support for expanding Medicaid.