Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday will meet with small business owners to discuss the benefits of Healthy Michigan legislation for the state’s jobs providers and economy. The legislation would insure nearly half a million more Michigan citizens, giving much-needed health care coverage to employees who don’t have any.
The Small Business Roundtable in Lansing is one of a series of events in which Snyder has participated to make the case for the crucial health care legislation. Failure to pass the Healthy Michigan Plan could, by some estimates, cost employers in Michigan as much as $81 million annually in new federal tax penalties.
The legislation, House Bill 4714, has been approved by the Michigan House with bipartisan support. The Michigan Senate adjourned June 20 without taking action on the bill. The Senate has formed a work group on the plan. Snyder has urged Senate leaders to set a date for a vote and to pass the legislation quickly.
“Small businesses are key drivers for Michigan’s come-back economy,” Snyder said. “The Healthy Michigan legislation would help these businesses by providing coverage for some of their employees. We need fast action from the Michigan Senate to take full advantage of this unique opportunity to improve health coverage, save taxpayers and small businesses money and encourage healthier living,”
The state is projected to save $206 million in the 2014 fiscal year by providing Healthy Michigan plan benefits to those now receiving services paid for with general fund dollars. Healthy Michigan would alleviate most of the $880 million a year in uncompensated costs that are borne by hospitals and passed to individuals and businesses through higher health care premiums. The plan encourages healthy living by providing incentives for participants to make health-conscious choices.
Last week, Snyder signed a petition developed by the group HealthyMichiganNow.com, encouraging the state Senate to act on the legislation.