Michigan Republicans — April 12, 2013 at 7:04 am

Michigan House and Senate reject Medicaid expansion – now we get to pay for a benefit we won’t receive


For the Love of Goddess what is the matter with these heartless idiots?

Yesterday the Republican-controlled Michigan House and Senate passed budget bills that rejected the expansion of Medicaid in our state. The impact of this is that hundreds of thousands of working poor Michiganders will continue to go without adequate health care coverage, saving the state exactly nothing. In fact, we will still pay into the program but the only states to benefit will be those that wisely chose to expand Medicaid. In other fact, we actually will be in the hole by $200 million a year which will need to come out of other programs like, you know, food assistance for the poor and stuff.

Republican-led legislative panels on Thursday rejected expanding Medicaid eligibility to 320,000 Michigan residents next year but left open the possibility of reversing course in coming months if changes can be made to the health insurance program for the needy. {…}

The U.S. government would cover the full cost of new Medicaid enrollees for three years, phasing down to 90 percent in 2020 and after. The state would save $200 million a year initially because more people receiving mental health services and medical care with state aid would instead be covered with federal money. Snyder proposes tucking away half of the savings, so Michigan effectively would not owe anything for covering more people until 2035.

“As attractive as the front-end dollars are, we feel it is more prudent to examine the long-term sustainability of this,” said Sen. John Moolenaar, a Midland Republican who chairs the Senate health budget subcommittee that voted 3-0 for a Department of Community Health spending plan without the expansion. The lone Democrat on the panel abstained from voting.

Also Thursday, the GOP-controlled House Appropriations Committee approved a broad budget bill along party lines without Medicaid expansion, following the lead of a subcommittee that first nixed the expansion three weeks ago.

As we have pointed out here at Eclectablog in the past, expanding Medicaid is truly a no-brainer. It will even create jobs!

Medicaid expansion will bring at least 30,000 new jobs to Michigan. Can Governor Snyder name one policy he’s passed that has created that many jobs?

Additionally, it will save Michigan $1 billion over the next ten years and bring $30 billion into the state. At this point, that’s $30 billion more than union-busting legislation had brought in.

Doctors are ready for it. Hospitals are literally running ads for it. The only thing standing in its way are a group of ideologically-extreme Republicans determined to keep Obamacare from being successful, even if it means people will suffer.

(As the article mentions, there is still a glimmer of hope that a deal can be reached but it’s moronic that it has to come to that. Amy Lynn Smith will have more on the future of this in Michigan this weekend.)

[Facepalm CC image credit: Alex Proimos | Flickr]