Monday, August 5, 2013

Michigan Way prevails on Medicaid

Michiganians should be grateful for the small show of bipartisanship shown as the Senate Government Operations Committee moved forward on the proposed Medicaid expansion.

State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, an East Lansing Democrat, termed it  "a distinctly Michigan process."

There is, indeed, a Michigan Way in terms of how the legislature has worked and let's hope it continues. It is this: when all sides have had a chance to be heard, a vote is taken and everyone accepts the result.

Not so on the national scene, where extremists increasingly carry the day, and many  issues are never resolved.

Many Republicans realize that there is a difference between opposing Obamacare and supporting the Medicaid expansion. The latter will provide coverage for more than 400,000 residents, providing compensation to hospitals currently providing the service free and passing the expense onto insurance ratepayers. The federal government also is paying the full cost — nearly $2 billion annually — for the first three years of the program.

Many Republican-led states are rejecting the expansion, thereby leaving the money on the table. That could become an issue in next year's elections.

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