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Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma all finished up their elections Tuesday, and Medicaid expansion in OK appears to have passed. And, a Supreme Court ruling could open the door for more public money to religious institutions.

New Report: "To Fix Michigan's Economy We Need to Fix Health Care Now"

February 23, 2009

Lansing, MI - National health care reform might be the catalyst needed to boost Michigan's - and the nation's - economy. That's according to a new report by the organization Health Care for America Now, which indicates that skyrocketing health care costs are depleting Michigan's state and local government budgets, crippling businesses, and making it hard for families to afford medical treatment.

The group's director, John Freeman, says that over the past eight years health care premiums have gone up more than 78 percent, and that's ruining Michigan's manufacturing base.

"With such a tremendously high overhead because of the increased cost of health care, it's so hard for businesses to be able to compete and build a solid product."

Freeman says companies pass on the increased cost of health care premiums to employees in the form of higher out-of-pocket costs.

"In some extreme cases, they just stop providing health care altogether. And then employees get sicker, because they can't get regular care, which cuts into their productivity, which makes it even more difficult for businesses to be competitive."

Freeman says the creation of a new public health insurance plan would be less expensive than private sector insurance and force the private insurance plans to be more competitive. Those opposed to public health insurance say it will drive up taxes and lead to lower-quality care.

Tony Bruscato, Public News Service - MI