The state Senate approved a plan after lengthy deliberations Tuesday to expand Medicaid health care coverage to 470,000 more people.
Michigan is now the 25th state to approve Medicaid expansion after last night's 20-18 vote, the Detroit Free Press reported.The decision reached a dead end when Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, who also represents Northville, decided not to vote the first time the bill came up leaving it one vote short of passing.
However, the Senate allowed a reconsideration of the vote. Several hours later, an amendment — that hospitals can’t charge Medicaid patients more than 115 percent of what they charge Medicare patients — was offered and Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, switched his vote to a yes, the Detroit Free Press reported. The bill then had the 20 votes needed to pass.
Gov. Rick Snyder has been traveling the state promoting Medicaid expansion as part of his "Healthy Michigan Now" campaign. He visited Novi last week to talk about what he said are the almost half a million people who don't currently qualify for Medicaid but also aren't able to afford health insurance.
"If you had someone at your kitchen table who needed help, we'd figure out how to help them," he said. "We've got 470,000 other family members we can help."
Snyder told Fox Run residents in Novi that Michigan will save money despite eventually paying 10 percent of Medicaid costs.
"We're currently proving some services that will be covered by the federal government," he said.
He said the state budget will be about $200 million better after the start of this program starting with the first year. Snyder said the state can set aside half of those savings each year for a health savings account, which will pay for Medicaid expansion past the year 2030.
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