By Tim Skubick

LANSING (WWJ) –  Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says he supports expanding Medicaid eligibility to hundreds of thousands of residents without insurance under the Obama administration’s health care overhaul.

Snyder made the announcement on Wednesday —  one day before he will propose his next state budget.

The federal health care law gives states the option to accept the expansion, refuse it or postpone a decision.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick says this will be a test of the governor’s leadership:

“He basically is telling state lawmakers and anybody else who will listen that we need to do this — we need to get in on the ground floor and insure more people in Michigan, under the federal Medicaid program.

“As he points out, during the first three years, the cost to state of Michigan taxpayers will be zero

Snyder says this is a good deal. Long term, Snyder says the play is for the state to build up a savings account so when the federal money runs out,  the state will have the funds to back it up.

Snyder is likely to run into resistance from Republican lawmakers opposed to the health law. They believe federal officials could renege, said Skubick. If this passes, it will affect about 400,000 people who don’t have insurance.

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