Gov. Snyder Signs New Healthy Michigan Plan Into Law - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Gov. Snyder Signs New Healthy Michigan Plan Into Law

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Governor Rick Snyder signed a new bill allowing more Michigan residents access to Medicaid. 

Gov. Snyder signed the highly debated Healthy Michigan plan into law Monday morning in Dearborn.

This new law brings health care to almost a half-million Michiganders as part of the Affordable Health Care Act. 

The plan emphasizes personal responsibility, both in sharing the cost of the medical care and making healthy choices to promote a healthy lifestyle. 

The Medicaid portion of the law is optional for states after a decision by the Supreme Court.

Traverse Health Clinic says Michigan's expansion of Medicaid will help thousands in northern Michigan, including about 800 people who use the clinic.

Mercy Hospital in Cadillac says the program could reduce costs by allowing more people access to preventative care instead of expensive emergency room visits.

If the state had decided not to sign up, Michigan would have lost millions of dollars in federal money.

"I think it's very positive for the healthcare system as a whole because the initial cost of this program are going to be funded 100 percent by the federal government for the first three years," said John MacLeod, President and C.E.O. of Mercy Hospital Cadillac.

The hospital expects the enrollment process for the new program to begin in April.

Kyle Mitchell and Photojournalist Jeremy Erickson have move on what the changes could mean for healthcare in northern Michigan.