It took a little legislative drama, and Republican state lawmakers very nearly derailed the policy more than once, but this morning, Michigan joined the ranks of states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Michigan is the 25th state in the nation to expand Medicaid under Obamacare after Gov. Rick Snyder signed the measure into law Monday at Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center in Dearborn. [...]It's a major political victory for Snyder, who was greeted by a standing ovation by about 140 advocates for health care, social services and the business community prior to the signing. He was joined by U.S. Rep. John Dingell, state lawmakers and health officials who supported the controversial bill."This is a win for all of us," Snyder said. "We have 470,000 people who were having to rely on the E.R. for their health care, and we didn't do anything about it. Those E.R. visits were costing us money. This is something that's really important -- this is about the health of fellow Michiganders."
With this policy in place, more than 300,000 low-income Michiganders will now get coverage they otherwise would not, and by the end of the decade, that number is projected to grow to about a half-million in-state residents.
Michigan joins Arizona and North Dakota as states run by Republicans which nevertheless approved Medicaid expansion. Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania may yet join the club.
Indeed, every time a Republican governor endorses Medicaid expansion -- a group that's growing, by the way -- it should increase the pressure on the remaining GOP chief executives who refuse to accept the policy out of spite. It seems like only a matter of time before folks in those red states start to ask, "Those other governors are good at arithmetic; why isn't mine?"