By Jack Spencer | Michigan Capitol Confidential
Medicaid expansion appears to face as many obstacles in the state Senate as it does in the state House.
In Tuesday’s edition of the Lansing insider political newsletter MIRS, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said there would be no expansion of Medicaid in Michigan unless the federal government is willing to grant a waiver for the reforms state Republican lawmakers want, such as a 48-month cap on benefits and a small co-pay.
In essence, Sen. Richardville’s message was that the Senate was approaching the issue with as many reservations as the House and perhaps more cautiously. In fact, Capitol Confidential has learned that it’s doubtful Senate Republicans will propose any form of Medicaid expansion.
The expansion is the key issue pertaining to Obamacare that state lawmakers face this year. The administration of President Barack Obama is trying to get states to expand Medicaid and offering a hundreds of millions of dollars as an enticement. It is estimated that Michigan would save $200 million in the upcoming fiscal year if it expanded Medicaid and took the short-term money.