Medicaid expansion delay creates $73 million hole in state budget

Oct 11, 2013

State lawmakers are not quite done with work related to expanding Michigan’s Medicaid program. Last month, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill into law that will extend government-sponsored health care to hundreds of thousands of low-income residents.

But a procedural vote in the state Legislature delayed the expansion by more than three months. According to the non-partisan House Fiscal Agency, that means the state will lose more than $70 million in expected savings.

“We have to appropriate the money,” said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, adding that he doesn’t expect the kind of controversy that accompanied earlier discussion of expanding Medicaid. “It doesn’t cost anybody anything. But it enables what we’ve already done. It’s kind of like you’re buying something online and you have to pay when the bill comes in. I don’t think it’s anything dramatic."

Richardville hopes to pass a budget bill to address the issue before the end of the year.