Senate Group Named To Explore Medicaid Expansion

LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Six Republican senators will meet over the summer to consider ways to possibly improve Medicaid expansion legislation pending in the Michigan Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville on Wednesday announced a workgroup to study options on proceeding with legislation that passed the Republican-led House two weeks ago.

The Healthy Michigan Workgroup includes Roger Kahn of Saginaw Township, Bruce Caswell of Hillsdale, Dave Robertson of Grand Blanc, John Pappageorge of Troy, Jim Marleau of Lake Orion and Darwin Booher of Evart.

Gov. Rick Snyder meantime is traveling the state to pressure Senate Republicans to vote after they adjourned for summer break last week without voting.

Flying back early from an Israel trade trip, Snyder scolded the GOP Senators, telling them to do their jobs.

The bill would make more low-income adults eligible for Medicaid under the federal health care law and force recipients to pay some costs.

The governor wants the expansion before provisions of the so-called Obamacare act take effect.  Snyder warns that emergency rooms will be flooded with working poor if the legislature doesn’t act.

“The clock is ticking,” said Snyder, at last week’s news conference. “… How are you gonna feel if we do nothing and you walk in there (the ER) and you see chair after chair of working poor people, hardworking people, sitting in those chairs knowing that’s their health care system — knowing we could have given them a better answer.”

Hospitals, insurers, small businesses and the poor are pushing the Senate to act, while conservative groups are pressuring senators to stand firm.

Richardville says the Medicaid debate isn’t over.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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