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Michigan not ready for Affordable Health Care Act

Mark Coggins
Emergency rooms are a costly alternative to a primary care physician.

A new survey found the state of Michigan is not ready to implement the health care overhaul passed by Congress. The Affordable Health Care Act is supposed to go into effect in 2014.

Marianne Udow-Phillips  is the Director of the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation. She says more people will be eligible for Medicaid under the new health care act and this might overwhelm an already strained health care system:

“There will be much more pressure on providers who are currently treating Medicaid recipients because they’ll have many more people wanting their services. We will have, I think, more people going to the emergency room because they have coverage but they don’t have a way to get into primary care.”

The survey also found that even insured people find it difficult to find affordable primary care physicians because many employers have raised co-pays and deductibles. Udow-Phillips says Michigan should start making changes now to be prepared for 2014:

"Planning to expand primary care now, planning to connect people to a usual source of care that’s not the emergency department is going to be really important if we want to do anything to manage the cost of health care in the future."

-Bridget Bodnar, Michigan Radio News

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