A call to provide Michigan residents a single-payer, universal health care plan was made on the steps of the state capitol on Monday.
The MI-Care health plan covers everyone and eliminates out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance. State Representative Yousef Rabhi introduced this legislation because he says health care should be a human right, not a path to financial ruin.
“It’s unacceptable that we live in a society where the out-of-pocket co-pays and the premiums are bankrupting our families.”
If passed, MI-Care would be the first publicly administered and publicly funded statewide health care system in America. It will essentially remove all for-profit health insurance companies in the state, employers of Michigan will no longer need to cover its workers, and it shouldn’t change patient-doctor relationships either.
“It is a system that will still allow our providers, our doctors, and our hospitals,” says Rabhi, “to remain independent and for people to be able to choose the medical providers they need.”
Funding MI-Care will include re-directing existing healthcare spending into a single-payer system, adding federal dollars from Medicaid, and creating new state revenue that involves a capital gains tax, a payroll tax, and graduated income tax.
Supporters say, once underway MI-Care will end up of saving the state billions of dollars, while also making sure everyone gets the health care they deserve.
“Single-payer insurance means it doesn’t matter if you have a pre-existing condition or you just found out,” says State Rep. Leslie Love. “Whether or not it was a virus or a death sentence, whether or not it was cancer or a cold, you are taken care of equally across the board.”
The MI-Care bill is the policy that makes sure everyone is covered, but even if lawmakers move it forward it won’t go into effect until the funding mechanism is approved by Michigan voters because the proposed method to fund it requires a constitutional amendment.