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Mon July 13, 2009
Michigan to serve as example for White House call for healthcare reform
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – President Obama is expected to talk about his healthcare reform plan Tuesday in Macomb County. He'll use Michigan as an example of why drastic reform is necessary.
Michigan's hospitals and physicians face increasing pressure to treat uninsured patients. That's because as the number of people unemployed goes up, so does the number of uninsured.
Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, which could exceed 20% by the end of next year. But members of the medical community say a shift in industry could create more jobs and better healthcare in the state.
Brian Peters is vice president of Michigan Health and Hospital Association.
"Where manufacturing jobs have been lost, where we're struggling to find our new identity, the fact is we have some of the highest quality hospitals and physicians in the entire country," he says.
But Peters says the state risks losing much of that quality and many of those physicians if state lawmakers continue to cut Medicaid to balance the budget. He says the federal government has a great opportunity right now to make major changes to healthcare.