House Votes Through Medicaid Expansion Without Immediate Effect

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

After months of deliberation, a 75-32 vote in the Michigan House of Representatives sealed the deal. Medicaid will expand in Michigan.

"We'll have 400,000 people who are getting the benefit," said Rep. Andy Schor, (D) Lansing, who voted in favor of the expansion. "We'll have less people in emergency rooms and I think it's gonna be a great thing for Michigan."

The House vote was a swift one, coming one week after an amended bill passed through the Senate and nearly three months after the House's original 76-31 approval, but it comes at a cost.

Last week, the Senate didn't have enough votes to move the legislation into immediate effect, meaning the expansion will go into effect in April, rather than January. A final attempt to reverse that vote was struck down, Tuesday.

Sen. Randy Richardville says 26 votes would have been needed for immediate effect. Two more than the provision got last week.

"The question was whether we reconsider a decision that the decision makers already made," said the Republican House Majority Leader. "I'm not going to ask them to reconsider it."

On average, the Michigan Department of Community Health claims the state will miss out on $7 million a day in federal funds without immediate effect. Governor Rick Snyder says that may cause problems initially.

"What it does is present more challenges over timing, over implementation and some challenges at the first part of the process, but let's not get bogged down in that," said Gov. Snyder.

Either way, the governor sees Tuesday as a win for the state.

"The important thing is the legislation passed," he said.

Gov. Snyder expects to sign the legislation in a couple of weeks.

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