Michigan Senate Approves Expanding Medicaid Under Obamacare

Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 09:29 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The Michigan Senate on Tuesday approved a bill to expand the Medicaid health program for the poor under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law.

Senators voted 20-18 to advance the bill, which has the backing of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican. The Senate legislation differs from a House-approved version, so the bill must return to the House for final consideration. House lawmakers are expected to take up the bill next week.

Snyder broke with other Republican governors this year to support a Medicaid expansion that he said would save taxpayers and businesses money while improving the quality of life for Michigan residents currently not covered.

The measure would infuse the state budget with billions of dollars of federal funding to pay for the expanded coverage.

An additional 325,000 people would be covered in fiscal 2013-2014 with $1.7 billion of federal funding, increasing to more than 400,000 people the following fiscal year, according to a Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency analysis.

Republicans hold a 26-12 majority in the Senate. Less than half joined Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville in supporting the measure. The bill fell one vote shy of approval on an initial vote, but it passed in a second vote after senators adopted another amendment.

Republican Senator Roger Kahn called it "a bipartisan bill that will reform the cost of medicine throughout the state and become the model in the country."

Kahn said the bill provided for "a hand-up not a handout."

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer said the bill would benefit everyone in the state, whether or not they were among those who would become eligible for benefits.

"It's good public policy and it makes good fiscal sense," Whitmer said.

Senator Patrick Colbeck, whose abstention led to Tuesday's initial failed vote, urged senators to vote no, calling the bill "a path to a single-payer system where nobody gets control over their healthcare."

Colbeck said he was concerned about the increasing state contributions in later years. The federal government has pledged to cover the costs for the first three years, with the state gradually paying up to 10 percent of the cost by 2020.

"Hitching our wagon to this Obamacare train is a very high-risk venture," Colbeck said.

Republican Senator Mike Green opposed the bill, saying the expansion would obligate Michigan taxpayers to future spending increases and would not improve access to high-quality care.

The Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid coverage to otherwise ineligible individuals and families who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, about $15,500 for a single adult and $26,500 for a family of three in 2014.

Medicaid expansion is one of the healthcare law's biggest provisions. But a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year allows states to opt out. As of Aug. 1, 23 states and Washington had accepted the expansion, while 21 states had turned it down, according to the consulting group Avalere Health.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter Dies at 76

Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 11:26 AM

Rubin Hurricane Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, . . .

Boston Marathon Defies Terror Attacks One Year On

Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 10:53 AM

The Boston Marathon returns Monday under a major security crackdown after last year's deadly bombings as a near record 3 . . .

Researchers Use Twitter to Predict Crime

Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 07:46 AM

Hidden in the Twittersphere are nuggets of information that could prove useful to crime fighters -- even before a crime  . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved