Health Reform Is Paying For Something Worth Paying For

michiganMichigan’s Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation has a new report which chronicles how Michigan will benefit under the new health care law. The Center predicts that the percentages of private and public coverage will increase under the law and hundreds of thousands of small businesses would qualify for small business tax credits:

While 28 percent of those in Michigan had public coverage in 2007/2008, under health reform, 33 percent would be eligible (and if al enrolled, covered). And while 61 percent of the state’s population had private coverage in 2007/20082, post-reform that number could grow to 65 percent assuming all who are required to purchase coverage did so (and those who currently have employer based group coverage but would be Medicaid eligible continue to retain employer based coverage).

– 58 percent of all private businesses in Michigan (about 119,375 in 2008) had fewer than 10 employees. With about 428,671 employees, these businesses employed about 12.4 percent of Michigan’s private sector. Wage data for these employers are not generally available. However, if all businesses in these size categories in Michigan were wage eligible, a total of 144,401 businesses could be eligible for the tax credit. These businesses employ approximately 766,538 employees

In the state up-roar about the added costs of reforms and the new Medicaid provisions, (particularly Republican) governors often omit the benefits they’re buying with the new spending. States are investing more dollars to cover more people and the new benefits will hopefully reduce health care costs over the long term, but also improve residents health in the short term. It may seem obvious, but all too often that gets lost in all of the complaining. Reports like this (and this) remind us that reform is paying for something worth paying for.