LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday called for extending Medicaid eligibility to hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents without health insurance, welcoming the option available under the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul.
Snyder made the announcement at a Lansing hospital the day before he proposes his next state budget.
“It’s a win for all,” he said while flanked by doctors, nurses and health officials.
The chance to cover nearly half of the state’s uninsured is “huge,” Snyder said, adding that he is comfortable the health-care system can handle the extra caseload.
The federal health-care law gives states the option to accept the expansion, refuse it or postpone a decision. But there are benefits for states that choose to expand Medicaid.
The federal government will pick up the entire cost in the first three years and 90 percent over the long haul.
Snyder is expected to run into resistance from Republican lawmakers opposed to the health law. Hospitals, doctors and others in favor of Medicaid expansion joined Snyder at his announcement.
He said Medicaid expansion would save the state $200 million a year initially because more people who now receive mental health services and medical care from state-funded programs will instead be covered with federal money. He called for setting aside $100 million a year of those savings so Michigan can kick in for new enrollees down the line.