Tens of thousands of people in northern Michigan could lose health insurance if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed. Congressional Republicans, along with President Donald Trump, have promised to replace the controversial law.
In fact, northern Michigan has a greater percentage of its population who have signed up for health care through the law than the state average, according to a report by Bridge Magazine.
“A lot people in northern Michigan who are taking advantage of [the ACA] have benefited from the expansion of Medicaid,” says Mike Wilkinson, a reporter for Bridge Magazine.
In Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, which includes the northern third of the Lower Peninsula and the entire Upper Peninsula, 6.2 percent of the population has health insurance through the state’s expansion of Medicaid. Another 4.9 percent has insurance purchased on the federal health care marketplace.
“In parts of the region, Leelanau County for instance, half of the people that are on Medicaid are only on it because they expanded Medicaid,” Wilkinson says, “and they allowed people who are making up to 133 percent of the poverty level to qualify for the government-based aid.”
Northern Michigan Republicans have spoken against Obamacare for years, and have won election after election. Wilkinson says people in Michigan and across the country are angry at some of the results of the law.
“People have chafed at some of the restrictions,” Wilkinson says. “Almost all of our policies have gone up in price whether you are buying a policy through the Affordable Care Act or not.”
“A lot of people look at it and say, ‘it’s helping one million people in the state … well, what about the other eight million? We’re having to pay for it.’ Or at least that’s the perception,” Wilkinson says.