Case Study: Expand Medicaid

In Case Studies, Issue Management, Media Relations, Social & Digital Media, Strategic Communications by Martin Waymire

One of the most important — and controversial — healthcare policy debates in recent Michigan history began in January 2013, when Gov. Rick Snyder proposed the Healthy Michigan Plan to reform and expand Medicaid in the state under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Martin Waymire was retained by the Expand Medicaid coalition to build support for the reform and expansion effort. The coalition included healthcare providers, the state’s leading business organizations, military veteran groups, senior citizens, human service organizations, and more.

Using extensive primary and secondary research, and earned, paid and new media strategies and tactics, Martin Waymire helped the Governor, legislative supporters and the coalition create a political environment favorable to passage of the Healthy Michigan Plan (state House Bill 4714). Ultimately, bipartisan majorities of both the Michigan House and Senate passed the legislation, making Michigan the 25th state in the nation (and one of just three states — at the time — with a Republican House, Republican Senate and Republican Governor) to approve Medicaid expansion under the ACA. The Healthy Michigan Plan is expected to save Michigan taxpayers about $1 billion over the next decade, reduce cost shifting for employers who end up paying higher healthcare premiums to cover uncompensated care delivered in hospital emergency rooms, and provide insurance to about 470,000 working Michigan adults who can’t afford coverage today.