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Michigan's Medicaid expansion: A model for pragmatic, bipartisan health reform?
Date:9/26/2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Michigan's newly expanded Medicaid program could act as a model for other states to achieve bipartisan health care reform even in a heated national political climate, says the head of the University of Michigan's health policy institute in an article published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

By blending public sector and private sector approaches to health coverage, Michigan's elected officials have found a pragmatic path forward that other states could learn from, says John Ayanian, M.D., MPP, director of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

Ayanian recently arrived in Michigan full-time, so his assessment of the state's trek toward Medicaid expansion and reform comes with a newcomer's perspective.

After a year of transitioning from Harvard University located in a state that embraced large-scale state health reform seven years ago he became a full-time Michigander in early September. That's just after Michigan's legislature approved the Healthy Michigan bill in late August, and just before Governor Rick Snyder signed it into law on September 16.

"It has been fascinating to watch as the key leaders from both political parties have come to agreement on the specific provisions of this new law, and it will be equally important to understand how expansion plays out and affects the health of Michiganders and the Michigan economy," says Ayanian, who heads an institute that includes more than 400 health care researchers from across U-M and partner organizations.

"As a primary care physician and as a health researcher, I have seen how insurance coverage can help people's health and finances , especially for those with serious conditions such as diabetes and depression," he adds. "Michigan's expansion was driven by a sense of community and compassion and by economic realities. That's a combination that other
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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