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Snyder Calls In Federal Help For Medicaid Talks

Governor Rick Snyder says he’s going to re-double efforts to get the Legislature to agree to expand Michigan’s Medicaid program.

As we hear from the Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta, that includes getting a federal cabinet official to lobby for it.

Governor Snyder says he’s talked to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about stepping in to aid in his negotiations with the Legislature. Some Republicans are demanding concessions such as time limits and caps on benefits before they’ll consider adding hundreds of thousands of people to Medicaid.

The governor says the Medicaid expansion is a cost-saver for taxpayers, businesses, and hospitals. He says it will encourage people to live healthier, get treatments sooner, and reduce expensive emergency visits by un-insured patients.

   “The ER isn’t the answer,” he says.  “It needs to be there, but it shouldn’t be the answer.”

The governor says he’d like wrap up the expansion in time to start enrolling new Medicaid patients in January.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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