A Message About Medicaid Expansion in Michigan

(reprinted with permission of the original author, Bob Laverty)


June 21, 2013

My Friends and colleagues:

Well, another delay in our journey.  I know it is hard to see anything positive about the lack of a vote on Medicaid expansion by the Michigan Senate.  However, I am a believer in having “unwarranted optimism”!  The good news is that they did not vote no.  This means that there is still the opportunity for the legislature to move this forward in the future.  We have come a long way with the enthusiastic support of the governor, business community, hospitals, and politicians of all stripes.  Just think back to where we were a few months ago, unsure if this would even be in the governor’s budget!  There has been great leadership by CHRT, as well as other community organizations, to make the case for Medicaid expansion. You all have contributed to demonstrating why this is important, through your work in WHI and your individual efforts.

And, look at what you have accomplished by your collaborative efforts.  In a relatively short time frame you have identified gaps and developed projects and programs that are making a difference in the lives of many people in our county.  You all have demonstrated what can be accomplished on behalf of our community through your many hours of work and creativity.

Back in 2010/2011, we were not sure if the ACA would even be implemented. Yet, you all committed your time to plan for the future.  You have been a model for how we can voluntarily assess the needs in our community, and plan and develop solutions to the high priority needs.  It’s been a job well done.  Through your efforts, we have a much better understanding of the needs/issues to be addressed in serving people; built stronger relationships for cooperative action; addressed existing barriers to serving populations in need; and garnered broad based support for ensuring that Washtenaw County is truly a leader in providing a higher quality of life for our neighbors.

Yep, this is a pep talk to encourage you to take pride in the work accomplished to date.  The ACA gave us a great opportunity to come together and ensure that we reach the full potential we have in our county to be the model of how to plan, develop, and deliver superior programs for our citizens in need.  Your efforts will make a huge difference to many, regardless of the ACA and Medicaid expansion.

I am optimistic about our future!

“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.”

― Helen Keller

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

― Anne Frank


Bob Laverty


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