Lawmakers debate Medicaid expansion plan
Whether Michigan expands government health insurance to more adults is hanging in the balance in the Republican-dominated state Senate.
Gov. Rick Snyder has cut short his trade trip to Israel to be back in Lansing Thursday lobbying for Medicaid expansion. His administration wants an up-or-down vote to be held before senators adjourn for the summer at day's end.
The legislation would expand the Medicaid program to include an additional 320,000 more adults in 2014 and nearly half-a-million in 2015. It comes as a part of the federally mandated Affordable Care Act that will go into effect in January.
Under the federal health care plan, states can expand Medicaid to adults making up to 133 percent of the poverty level. That translates to about $15,300 for an individual, meaning an individual wouldn't necessarily have to be under the poverty line to receive Medicaid.
Snyder's problem is his fellow Republicans make up two-thirds of the Senate, and the GOP is more resistant to expanding the Medicaid program under the federal health care law.
One ray of hope is the Republican-led House has approved Medicaid expansion. Hospitals, insurers, small businesses and the poor are pushing the Senate to act, while conservative groups are pressuring senators to stand firm.
Lawmakers may be in for a long day.
To read the full bill as passed by the House last week,
Editor's Note: The Senate adjourned for the summer without voting on the Medicaid expansion. For the updated story, click here.