Michigan Senate votes to expand Medicaid

Senate's approval makes more than 400,000 Michigan residents eligible for Medicaid

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

LANSING, Mich. - After months of hand wringing and haggling, Medicaid will be expanded in Michigan.

The expansion was formerly not optional under Obamacare but now it is. Governor Rick Snyder came out in favor of the expansion which will now make 470,000 Michiganders eligible for Medicaid.

Senate Republicans refused to vote on it at the beginning of the summer. On Tuesday, the Senate voted and it failed to pass by one vote. Then, late Tuesday night a re-vote was taken and the expansion squeaked by.

Read: Republican-led Senate passes Medicaid expansion with 20-18 vote

Many Republicans are not in favor because while the federal government will pick up the cost of the expansion for three years, the responsibility then reverts back to the state.

"It's about healthy Michigan ... it's about helping $470,000 Michiganders have a better life. Going to the ER for your health care -- while we have wonderful people in the ER -- is not a good solution," said Snyder.

This was an important victory for Gov. Snyder. He came out in favor on the expansion and worked hard to get it pushed through. He hasn't been getting a whole lot of cooperation out of the legislature on his initiatives.

A prime example is his plan to fix our deteriorating roads. His proposal was to raise vehicle registration fees and the gas tax. That plan sank like a stone and so far nothing has taken root to replace it. Top Democratic strategist Joe DiSano says Snyder has no traction.

"I think roads next year or later this year won't happen. I don't think anyone in Lansing has the leadership ability to make this happen," DiSano said.

How Michigan senators voted on Medicaid expansion

By The Associated Press

Michigan Senate members voted 20-18 Tuesday to expand the state's Medicaid program as part of the federal health care law.

How they voted:

Eight Republicans voting yes: Tom Casperson of Escanaba, Goeff Hansen of Hart, Roger Kahn of Saginaw Township, Mike Kowall of White Lake Township, James Marleau of Lake Orion, Randy Richardville of Monroe, Tory Rocca of Sterling Heights, Howard Walker of Traverse City

Eighteen Republicans voting no: Darwin Booher of Evart, Jack Brandenburg of Harrison Township, Bruce Caswell of Hillsdale, Patrick Colbeck of Canton Township, Judy Emmons of Sheridan, Mike Green of Mayville, Dave Hildenbrand of Lowell, Joe Hune of Hamburg Township, Mark Jansen of Gaines Township, Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, Arlan Meekhof of West Olive, John Moolenaar of Midland, Mike Nofs of Battle Creek, John Pappageorge of Troy, Phil Pavlov of St. Clair, John Proos of St. Joseph, Dave Robertson of Grand Blanc, Tonya Schuitmaker of Lawton

Twelve Democrats voting yes: Jim Ananich of Flint, Glenn Anderson of Westland, Steve Bieda of Warren, Vincent Gregory of Southfield, Morris Hood III of Detroit, Hoon-Yung Hopgood of Taylor, Tupac Hunter of Detroit, Bert Johnson of Highland Park, Virgil Smith of Detroit, Rebekah Warren of Ann Arbor, Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing, Coleman Young II of Detroit

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