Inside and outside of Oakland

Michigan Democrats dare Republicans to return and vote on Medicaid expansion


   Michigan's Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vented at Senate Republicans late last week when they ducked a vote on an expansion of Medicaid in Michigan and adjourned for two months, telling them, "Take a vote, not a vacation."
  Senate Democrats picked up that refrain Monday, saying that the 12 of them in the 38-member Senate will be at the Capitol in Lansing July 3 and ready to vote, if Senate Republicans care to return.

  State Sen. Getchen Whitmer, an East Lansing Democrat and leader of the Senate's minority Democratic caucus, said Monday that a vote is needed if the expansion mandated under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, can be put in place in time.
  "Whether Senate Republicans want to actually do their jobs or not, my caucus and I will be in session on July 3 and ready to cast our votes," Whitmer said in part. "We need only eight Republicans to be here and ready to work with us that day and I challenge them to do just that."
  Whitmer said July 3 is a scheduled Senate session day but that Republicans have indicated they won't attend or cast votes that day.
  The governor, in advocating an expansion of Medicaid, argues as many as 400,000 Michigan residents will gain health coverage, initially with the federal government picking up the cost.
  Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, a Monroe Republican, said senators need the summer to review the proposal and its alternatives before voting on it.
  The proposal that cleared the state House is House Bill 4714.

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