Medicaid expansion clears state House, goes to Senate

Jun 14, 2013

The state House has approved a plan to overhaul and expand Medicaid in Michigan. The bill passed the House with bipartisan support.

State lawmakers have been debating for months whether to add hundreds of thousands of Michiganders to the Medicaid rolls under the federal healthcare law. It also creates incentives for healthy lifestyles, and would eventually require some Medicaid patients to pay more toward the cost of their healthcare.

Democratic state Representative Brandon Dillon praised Republican House leadership for taking a vote on the bill.

“This isn’t just a philosophical argument about the size and scope of government. This is a bill that will immediately impact people in a very positive way,” Dillon said.

Governor Rick Snyder called for the Medicaid expansion as a way to improve health in Michigan and save the state money. But many Republicans say they’re not willing to go along with an expansion of the government’s role in health care.

The federal government is offering to foot the bill for the expansion for the first three years. It would pay at least 90 percent after that. But many Republicans say they don’t trust Washington to hold up its end of the deal.

The bill now goes to the Republican-dominated state Senate.