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Medicaid expansion passes Senate
LANSING, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A bill to expand Medicaid coverage to nearly half-a-million more people in the state could soon be on the governor's desk.
Tuesday night the state Senate approved the Medicaid expansion by a narrow vote, 20 to 18.
It had failed in a previous vote earlier in the day.
The bill now heads back to the House for a final vote before it goes to the governor for his signature.
It means around 470,000 low-income adults will now be eligible for Medicaid coverage.
Many republicans opposed the bill, which is part of the federal healthcare overhaul.
Governor Snyder says after a lot of convincing, he believes lawmakers did the right thing.
"I just ask the all Michiganders step back to look and say this isn't about the Affordable Care Act, this is about one element that we control here in Michigan that can make a difference in people's lives, said Governor Snyder.
"I think this was a very heavy lift, I think the governor sometimes asks for things that are really difficult for this caucus and I think we've done a lot for him over the last few years," said Senator Randy Richardville.
While all democrats in the Senate voted in favor of the bill, only 8 of the 26 republicans voted yes, with all GOP members from West Michigan voting against it.
That includes Senator Tonya Schuitmaker from the 20th District.
"I am happy to see that ultimately it came for a vote although it was not the outcome I wanted. I don't begrudge anyone who feels in their heart they made the right decision and I feel every lawmaker did that. Although I'm not happy with the ultimate vote," said Senator Schuitmaker.
Senator Mike Nofs of Battle Creek also issued a statement Tuesday night saying, "While I feel that offering affordable health care options for Michiganders is one of the most important issues our state faces, I voted against House Bill 4714 because I do not believe that it's the most responsible way to provide this vital support."
Be sure to count on Newschannel 3 for continuing coverage on both Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act.
We're helping you navigate through the complexities of the health care overhaul on air and online at wwmt.com.