Medicaid Funding May Not Be Far Off - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Medicaid Funding May Not Be Far Off

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - With a strong bi-partisan vote, Governor Rick Snyder is one step closer to insuring 320,000 un-insured citizens.

The Michigan House is expected have a vote on the bill Thursday.

Since last fall, the governor has been stymied by his own party as he tried to fold 320,000 citizens who don't have health insurance into the federal medicaid system.

The state health director, Jim Haveman, predicts after the legislature gives the green light, by January 1, 2014, they will get insurance at cost savings to taxpayers.

"It will save lives because people will get engaged early. Where we know prevention works and it will save money because were spending it now where its the most expensive," said Haveman.

Even though these folks will have to make a 2-3 percent co-payment, House democrats were on board.

"It will free up over $200 million a year, so it makes fiscal sense and it will also help small business by making sure their employees can still get medical coverage," said Rep. Tim Greimel.

But conservatives oppose this because in the long run, they fear it could cost the state an extra $500 million a year.

"This is a short term gain. I call it fools gold, if you would," said Rep. Ray Franz.

Once the measure gets to the Senate, it looks like it will pass there, too.

"I think we will pass it next week because its the right thing to do," said Sen. Gretchen Whitmer.

If this all falls into place it, appears to be a case of snatching victory from the jaws of the defeat for the governor and the state's 320,000 uninsured.

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