Politics & Government
6:36 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

State Senate may vote next month on expanding Medicaid in Michigan

There could be a vote in the state Senate in late August on a bill to extend Medicaid health coverage to thousands of un-insured working poor people.

That’s despite Governor Rick Snyder’s call for a vote earlier than that.

The governor has said waiting until late August could jeopardize the state’s ability to get federal approval, and then sign up people in time for coverage to begin when the new federal healthcare law takes effect in January.

The state House has already passed its version of a Medicaid bill.

But Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says too many Republicans oppose the legislation in its current form, and changes are needed for it to pass.

“I think it’s going to be things that would appeal more to a conservative group than anything else,” says Richardville. 

But there are still conservatives who say any expansion of the Medicaid program, and anything that aids enacting the federal healthcare law, are unacceptable.

Scott Hagerstrom is with Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that opposes the expansion.

He says anything that adds people to the Medicaid rolls would be a mistake.

“Certainly we want to a healthy Michigan,” says Hagerstrom, “but we believe free market reforms are the way to go, not an expansion of a broken program.”

The House version of the bill would expand Medicaid eligibility to more than 400,000 people.    

The federal government would provide 100% of the funding beginning next year.  But that federal match would drop to 90% by 2020.