In January, I joined the Michigan League for Public Policy as their communications associate. I’m able to work with the communications department assisting with a variety of tasks and working on issues that I’m truly passionate about. I love writing, both personally and professionally, and am excited to have this avenue to interact with people who are equally passionate about the League’s work.
Before I arrived at the League, I was working with Michigan Consumers for Healthcare (MCH), a statewide nonprofit organization focusing on obtaining affordable, accessible, quality healthcare for everyone in Michigan. During my time at MCH, I was heavily involved in the passage of Medicaid Expansion, now known as the Healthy Michigan Plan (HMP). Our team spent countless hours advocating for this legislation because we recognized the positive impact on Michiganians and that this could provide a positive economic impact on our state.
More than half a million Michiganians are now able to live fuller, healthier lives because of the Healthy Michigan Plan. Already, HMP has covered more than 1.7 million primary care visits, 59,000 beneficiaries have received mammograms and more than 32,000 have had colon cancer screenings. In short, it’s working.
Yet, despite overwhelming success and lifesaving measures, Senate Bill 542 has been introduced which would take away important funding for promotion of the program. The HMP has been a source of healthcare for 600,000 Michigan residents and could be helping even more but the uninsured population needs to know it’s an option. Through advertising and marketing, citizens are made aware that such a healthcare option even exists. This is not simply another line item on a budget; this is promoting outreach and education about HMP—and in turn, good health for low-income residents—throughout Michigan.
We should be celebrating that this program has been able to help so many individuals that were previously uninsured or underinsured, not restricting its potential.
— Chelsea Lewis