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. [...]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.
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.