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Politics & Government

Five years of Affordable Care Act in Michigan

A doctor with a stethoscope on a young boys naked chest (he's wearing pants though)
user Laura4Smith
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Flickr
Backers of state funding for physician training say Michigan faces a shortage of 20,000 doctors in the next decade.

Five years after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, enrollment by Michigan residents has surpassed projections.

According to Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the University of Michigan's Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation (CHRT), nearly 1 million Michigan residents signed up for health care in the last enrollment period. Almost 600,000 of those enrollees took advantage of Healthy Michigan, the state's Medicaid expansion program. 

Another 340,000 purchased health insurance through the federal marketplace.

But the law faces a potential setback in the form of a Supreme Court challenge to its subsidy provision. More than 300,000 Michigan residents receive a subsidy in the form of a tax credit to offset the cost of health care. If the court strikes down the subsidies, Udow-Phillips says those people likely would not be able to afford their insurance. 

"It’s pretty clear that these tax credits have helped many people to purchase coverage and they wouldn’t be able to cover it otherwise," she said.

More provisions of the ACA will go into effect in the coming years, including components related to continued expansion of Medicaid, some of which will need approval by the end of the year. 

Although the law has faced ongoing political opposition in its five years, Udow-Phillips says people have increasing confidence in the law, "We see health insurers really making a bet that this is a law that’s going to stay on the books. We have many more health insurers in the state this year offering coverage in the marketplace than last year. We have more plan choices than last year."