Snyder administration says late start for Medicaid expansion would be costly

Michigan Public Radio Network

The fight in the state Senate over expanding Medicaid in Michigan isn’t over yet. Governor Rick Snyder’s administration wants the Senate to deal with a procedural issue that could delay starting the program.

The Medicaid expansion cleared the state Senate by the slimmest of margins, while a separate motion that would allow the coverage to begin January first requires a super-majority. That vote failed, but the Senate could revisit the question as soon as Tuesday.

Angela Minicuci is with the state Department of Community Health. She said what’s at stake is health coverage for as many as 320 thousand working poor people, who otherwise might have to wait til spring to qualify.

“If we have the ability to provide coverage as of January 1 to improve these people’s lives, that truly is something that we think is beneficial for the state of Michigan,” Minicuci said.

Minicuci said a delay would also cost hundreds of millions of dollars in lost federal funds and savings by putting more prison inmates into Medicaid.

Copyright 2013, MPRN