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Medicaid expansion tops to-do list before Legislature’s summer break

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Debate in the Michigan Senate turned to school bullying.

Governor Rick Snyder’s administration is working to wrap up a deal with the Legislature this week to extend Medicaid coverage to thousands more low-income families in Michigan. Republicans remain divided on the proposal.

It took a bipartisan vote of Republicans and Democrats to get the expansion through the state House last week and it will take a similar coalition to get the bill approved this week by the state Senate.

James Haveman is the director of the Department of Community Health. He says time is growing short for the state to design the program, get it approved by the federal government, and be ready to enroll people in January.

“It’s a lot of work and we’re up for it. But we need some affirmative action soon,” Haveman said.

Democrats generally support the expansion, which is funded through the federal Affordable Care Act, as does Governor Snyder. But many other Republicans still need to be convinced the cost-savings are enough to support the extension of a national policy they opposed.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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