Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is beginning his final push for Medicaid reform and expansion ahead of an expected Senate vote next week.
The governor has spent a good part of his summer touring the state in support of a House-approved plan to reform the Medicaid program in Michigan and expand access to individuals who earn up to 133 percent of the poverty level.
The Medicaid legislation has divided Republicans in Lansing, many of whom remain wary of the federal health care law and do not believe the proposed reforms justify expanded government spending.
With the Senate vote nearing, both sides are getting creative.
Costumed Medicaid expansion supporters this week presented fake "Tea Party Crackpot" awards to at least two Republican senators -- Patrick Colbeck of Canton and David Robertson of Grand Blanc Township -- because their caucus did not vote on the expansion before summer recess.
Americans For Prosperity-Michigan, meanwhile, will offer free hot air balloon rides on Thursday in Kalamazoo and Caledonia. The Medicaid expansion opponents say the balloon rides will highlight the preponderance of "hot air" in the ongoing debate.