Are Senate Republicans just running out the clock before summer recess? Or are they seriously considering Medicaid expansion’s merits?
After a day reportedly spent largely discussing Medicaid expansion, the Michigan Senate adjourned without voting on the issue. There’s no guarantee they’ll vote on it Wednesday or Thursday, when they adjourn for summer recess.
I really have nothing to go on but my gut, here, but the delay is making me anxious. Very anxious. Especially considering that Governor Rick Snyder is in Israel (although reportedly weighing in on Medicaid expansion, which he’s long supported) and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley is out of town, and therefore unable to cast a tie-breaking vote if needed.
This gives me pause, too:
Senate GOP Press Secretary says there will not be a vote on Medicaid expansion unless there are 13 GOP Senators that support it.
— Chris Gautz (@ChrisGautz) June 18, 2013
Do I smell a rat? I’m generally an optimist — if maybe a cockeyed one — but there are too many things about the current scenario that make me nervous.
I had high hopes after the Medicaid expansion bill passed the Michigan House by a wide margin (76-31). That meant a lot of Republicans changed their minds.
But I’m not alone in my opinion that the Senate is a much tougher nut to crack on this one. Especially with the very vocal Michigan Tea Party threatening not to vote for any Republican who supports Medicaid expansion.
Is Michigan’s decision-making being dictated by threats? I sure hope not. And I certainly hope those threats won’t encourage some Republicans to put their own re-election ahead of what’s best for the majority of Michiganders.
There’s still time to be heard. The voices of reason should be relentless, too. We’ll just be more polite about it.
Contact as many Republican Senators as you can — especially your own — and let them know Michigan’s voters support Medicaid expansion. Call, email, post on their Facebook walls or tweet at them. While you’re at it, use social media to publicly thank members of the Michigan House who voted in support of Medicaid expansion.
Let’s show the Michigan Senate how powerful a force for good can be when it comes to public opinion.