Obamacare Delay Worries Michigan Senators

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- Republican state senators want to put the brakes on expanding Medicaid. Even more so now that there will be a year delay on part of Obamacare.

When the Obama Administration unexpectedly announced a one year delay for medium and large companies to receive the new health care, it put Michigan Republicans on alert.

"Is this a boondoggle? Will this bankrupt the nation, will this bankrupt the state? We have to be very careful with spending the tax dollars that are coming in," said Senator Rick Jones (R).

If the Senate passes Medicaid expansion the Federal Government would pay 100 percent of the costs for the first three years. But if parts of Obamacare are starting to fail, Republicans want to make sure the state isn't left hanging.

"They are continuing to change the time line and deadlines. It's a very confusing array of information coming out of Washington," said Senator John Moolenaar (R).

The governor's less worried. He thinks the recent announcement will have no affect on Michigan's Medicaid expansion bill.

"It doesn't change the fundamentals. Healthy Michigan is a program by Michiganders for Michiganders, and it's critically important."

Congressman John Dingell even made an appearance in the Senate Wednesday, and tried to ease Republican minds.

"The government had the wisdom to give time to businesses. We can now work with them and craft a program that meets each of their individual needs."

But some Republicans still think moving forward with caution is the best option.

"Before we decide to do something, I think it's important we have a chance to examine all ramifications we would make," said Moolenaar.

The Senate did not vote on the Medicaid expansion on Wednesday. Instead a committee is working on changing the bill to better suit both sides of the aisle.

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