LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) - The full Michigan Senate is expected to vote on Medicaid expansion as early as next month. That would appear to bring to an end an at times personal feud between Republican senators and Gov. Rick Snyder.
But nothing in Lansing is that easy.
The Senate Government Operations Committee has passed a revised bill to expand Medicaid to up to 500,000 more uninsured people in Michigan. But the committee also passed three other bills that offer two alternatives. That muddies the waters further on an already murky topic.
Most Republican senators in the majority do not favor Medicaid expansion. They argue it grows an already-bloated government program and that it's part of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, which they oppose.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, meanwhile, has said he opposes a lot of the ACA, but that it's the law and the state should take advantage of provisions like Medicaid that will help Michigan residents.
But opposition from lawmakers is why Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) let the Senate adjourn for summer break without a vote on a plan already approved by the House of Representatives. That infuriated the governor and some Republicans in the House and gave political fodder to Democrats who support the expansion.
In order to put the pieces back together, the Senate has worked this summer to come up with an alternative.
When all is said and done, it will likely be Democrats' votes, along with those from as few as eight Republicans, that will pass the measure the governor wants.
The other bills produced by the Government Operations Committee may get a vote, but no support from Democrats and likely not enough Republican votes to pass. It will however, give reluctant GOP members a way to vote to provide low-income residents with health care coverage without voting to expand Medicaid.
The full Senate should vote on the bill or bills late next month.
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