It only took a half-a-year of study. But Gov. Rick Snyder today will finally say he’s on board with a proposed expansion of Medicaid for Michigan, which will inject $6 billion in Medicaid funding into the state for the first three years.
That’s the easy part. Putting aside December’s curveball over right-to-work, Snyder is a moderate at heart, so it’s no surprise he finally embraced a Medicaid expansion to provide medical services to those who can’t afford them.
The expansion, authorized under Obamacare, would be fully federally funded in the first three years, and after that, the state ultimately would pay 10 percent of the cost.
Now comes the hard part. Getting Michigan Republicans – particularly House Republicans – on board with the expansion. Any Medicaid expansion would need legislative approval, and House Speaker Jase Bolger already has said he has serious concerns about an expansion, including a fear most costs will eventually shift to states.
That’s a legitimate concern, though diminished somewhat by the fact that states can pull out of the expansion any time they choose.
For many, what lies at the heart of opposition to an expansion is ideology – fear of a federal boogeyman with ever-expanding arms propping up death panels, denying treatment to grandma and removing personal decision-making from every aspect of health care.
Of course, that boogeyman bears no resemblance to the market-driven Affordable Health Care Act passed by Congress in 2009.
Remarkably, that doesn’t seem to matter.