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Rick Snyder
Gov. Rick Snyder

Michigan's Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, like his counterpart in Florida, Rick Scott, wants Medicaid expansion for his state. For these Republican governors, whose primary job is to create a balanced budget for the state, the Medicaid money available under Obamcare is a gift. For Republican legislators, it's all about tea party politics. In Michigan, politics is winning.
The state Senate passed the Department of Community Health budget on a 20-18 vote without the Medicaid expansion. It also killed an amendment offered by Sen. Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield, that would have added the expansion back into the budget. [...]

Snyder had proposed expanding the Medicaid program to residents who fall within 133% of the federal poverty level. The program would be paid for 100% by the federal government through 2017, and then begin to ratchet down until it hits 90% federal contribution in 2020.

Republicans have resisted the expansion, wary of the Affordable Care Act and the federal government’s promise to fund the expansion.

The state House is working on a budget that would take the expansion, but would cap benefits after four years, which would require a waiver from the federal government. If the House were to pass their budget, there are two hurdles for the expansion: reconciling the bill with the Senate, which doesn't want it, and getting the federal waiver. In the meantime, the 470,000 low-income Michigan residents who could qualify for Medicaid under the expansion are left in limbo.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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