State Rep. Andy Schor, a freshman and Lansing Democrat, is starting out his term by introducing a House resolution he hopes will push the Republican-controlled Legislature to more quickly embrace Obamacare.
Most likely, the resolution will never see the light of day. But, one hopes, it will at least get the discussion going in a chamber that has been strangely silent on the issue.
Schor's resolution calls on Gov. Rick Snyder to join other states in an expansion of Medicaid rolls to cover up to an additional 600,000 low-income people. Schor mentions a House Fiscal report that maintains the feds foot the entire bill for the expansion in the first years, eventually covering 90 percent of the costs.
With higher reimbursements for the state's mental health costs, fiscal experts say the expansion would essentially be cost-neutral after Michigan starts paying its 10 percent share.
In other words, the cost would be a wash to the state.
Schor also cites a recent poll commissioned by the American Cancer Society's Action Network that found 63 percent of Michigan residents support expanding Medicaid.
The Snyder administration hasn't committed to an expansion. It has been studying the issue for many months, saying it fears the state will be on the hook for big Medicaid expenditures down the road.
Michigan can't dither much longer. The federal expansion is set to begin Jan. 1, 2014, and if Michigan doesn't sign up for the program, the state's poor may continue to have barren medicine cabinets.