Michigan Becomes Largest GOP State to Accept Medicaid Expansion
Michigan is the largest state – the 25th nationally - controlled by Republicans to support a key component of the new federal health care law.
Gov. Rick Snyder checked off one of the major priorities of his first term on Monday, signing into law a measure that will make hundreds of thousands of state residents eligible for Medicaid.
Snyder's signature at the ceremony at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn makes Michigan the largest state – the 25th nationally - controlled by Republicans to support a key component of the new federal health care law.
"This is not about politics. It is about people in families," Snyder said. Michigan has "470,000 people who rely on emergency rooms. Sometimes that is too late to take care of chronic care. … These are hard-working people. We are proud we can help one another."
It will expand the government health insurance program to almost a half-million Michigan residents within a few years, nearly halving the state's uninsured. An estimated 320,000 are expected to be eligible in late March if the federal government OKs the state's plan, which could be completed later this fall.
Medicaid expansion is part of a strategy to ensure that nearly all Americans have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. It was designed to cover the neediest uninsured people yet became optional for states because of a Supreme Court decision.