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Snyder stumps for Medicaid expansion: 'This is common sense'

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder is trying to ratchet up the pressure on state lawmakers to expand Medicaid coverage.

Shyder stumped for the “Healthy Michigan” initiative at two southeast Michigan hospitals Monday. At Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, the governor heard stories about the high cost of treating the uninsured.

Snyder called those stories evidence of a “dumb, broken” health care system, and says expanding Medicaid coverage would help alleviate the problem.

Many Senate Republicans oppose the proposed expansion because it’s part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

But Snyder says the costs of expanding health care are coming anyway--so, he argued, why not share in the benefits?

“Healthy Michigan is our one opportunity to stand up and do what’s right for Michigan citizens, particularly those 400,000 plus that don’t have insurance today,” Snyder said.

Snyder says he believes a “silent majority” in Michigan support Medicaid expansion.

“So this isn’t about partisanship, this isn’t about politics…this is about common sense.”

The initiative would expand Medicaid coverage to working adults making 133% of the federal poverty limit. Officials estimate it would cover 322,000 people in its first 3 years, and up to 470,000 after that.

The federal government would pay for all of the expansion during the first two years, and more than 90% of it after that.

Snyder says if a deal is going to get done, it has to get done this summer—and the health care community needs to step up the pressure if that’s going to happen.

He continues stumping Tuesday, with plans to stop at a hospital in Jackson.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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