The state Senate has gone on summer recess without a vote on Medicaid expansion.
Governor Rick Snyder wanted the Senate to approve extending health care coverage to more low income people, as allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act . But MLive reports he was particularly upset that the Senate didn't even vote on the issue.
It's believed that the expansion could have passed the Senate, but Republican leaders would not bring the issue to a vote without a majority of their party prepared to approve it. The House passed Medicaid expansion with broad Democratic support, but only 28 of 58 Republican representatives. Former Kalamazoo area State Representative Jack Hoogendyk and other conservatives have criticized House Republicans for using Democratic votes to pass Medicaid expansion.
Former Congressman and State lawmaker Mark Schauer, who is running for governor, issued a statement calling on Snyder to call a special session of the Legislature to pass the Medicaid expansion. The Battle Creek Democrat criticized the governor for a lack of leadership to convince members of his own party to bring the legislation for a vote. The full statement:
LANSING – Today Mark Schauer issued the following statement on Gov. Snyder’s failure to deliver sufficient votes to pass Medicaid expansion legislation.
“Gov. Snyder’s failure to convince members of his own party to even bring this common-sense legislation up for a vote demonstrates a clear lack of leadership on his part. By 2016, it is estimated that this bill will support up to 18,000 new jobs across the state, and increase economic activity in Michigan by over $2 billion. It’s time to get this done.
“Today I’m calling on Gov. Snyder to exercise his power under the Michigan constitution and immediately convene a special session of the Legislature to pass Medicaid expansion legislation. Moreover, I’m calling on the governor to veto every new bill that comes to his desk starting today until the Senate passes this critical legislation. The clock is ticking. If Lansing can’t get this done, billions of our hard-earned Michigan tax dollars will go to other states. Health care coverage for nearly 400,000 Michiganders is on the line, and our state needs real leadership from our governor to get it done, not more excuses and empty rhetoric.”
Gongwer News Service Publisher John Lindstrom blogs about the problems Snyder and other Republican governors are having trying to get Medicare expansion approved.
ICYMI: Lindstrom explained Thursday morning, before the Senate adjourned, why the debate over expanding Medicaid is one of the most significant moments of Governor Snyder's administration.