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State Senate Panel To Kick Off Medicaid Debate This Week

A plan to expand Medicaid in Michigan will get its first hearing in the state Senate Tuesday.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, the panel will also take testimony this week on alternative proposals.

The main bill would extend Medicaid benefits to hundreds of thousands of low-income Michiganders through the federal health care law.

But some conservative state Senators say they won’t support anything that’s tied to Obamacare. Patrick Colbeck is offering a bill he says would save the state even more money using a free market approach. He says he hopes the Senate panel will give his plan equal consideration.

“All I’m asking for, really, is a fair comparison of the different options that are out there,” he says.

Another alternative bill would expand coverage to fewer people using only state dollars.

Governor Rick Snyder’s administration supports expanding Medicaid. It says both competing proposals would be too costly.

Jake Neher is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He covers the State Legislature and other political events in Lansing.
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