Snyder Visits Jackson for Medicaid Expansion

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email
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JACKSON (WILX)-- Democrats are expected to challenge Republicans to take a vote on expanding Medicaid July 3rd, but will they even be there to accept it?

Governor Snyder is pushing hard for the vote, but even he isn't holding his breath.

The Governor's been traveling statewide asking the Senate to "Take a vote, not a vacation." On Tuesday, while he visited Allegiance Health in Jackson, he felt that his voice was finally starting to be heard.

"There's only good common sense reasons to do healthy Michigan. That's why I'm so passionate about getting it done," said Governor Snyder.

Governor Snyder doubts the Senate will come to a vote on Wednesday, but hopes they will use the time to talk more about the bill.

"I appreciate the Senate being more proactive now. There's progress on this, let's keep up that positive momentum."

The governor says Medicaid expansion has the potential to cover more than 400,000 adults in Michigan, and says it would save the state $206 million dollars in the 2014 fiscal year alone. But not everyone is as convinced that it will end up saving the state money.

"The Federal Government has promised to pay 100 percent for Medicaid for the first 3 years, but the truth is Washington has broken a lot of promises," said Annie Patnaude, with Americans for Prosperity.

Governor Snyder doesn't think the federal government will turn back on its word, but if it does, he's made sure rules were placed in the legislation that would kill the bill. He also says Healthy Michigan would alleviate most of the $880 million a year in uncompensated costs that are borne by hospitals and passed to individuals and businesses though higher health care premiums.

Patnaude says she would rather see changes made to just private insurance. She predicts that if the Senate passes the Medicaid bill, it won't be the uninsured that'll try to get the insurance. Instead, it'll be the ones that already have insurance switching to get free federal.

"The emergency rooms won't see a decrease, and the uncompensated care costs are going to rise, not fall."

Twelve Democrats will be at the capitol tomorrow in hopes of a vote, but it's likely Republicans will send 13 senators to outnumber them. We'll let you know what happens tomorrow on WILX.


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