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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Michigan Medicaid Expansion with the Affordable Health Care Act fails by 1-vote in State Senate

Michigan State Capitol
Michigan State Capitol (Photo credit: matthileo)

Another documented failure of Democracy in Michigan working for the good of its' populace occurred late today. As the State Republican-led Senate chamber declined passing Medicaid expansion with the Affordable Health Care Act.

State Senator Bert Johnson (D-Highland Park), strong advocate for Medicaid Expansion for up to 400,000 Michiganders scheduled to benefit from the program, provided on-the-hour updates on Tuesday's State Senate votes via his Facebook Page throughout the afternoon.

"The Senate has been called back to order. Sen. Colbeck is currently discussing his 'alternative' plan to expanding Medicaid. Sadly, his plan would cost billions of dollars more and provide less people with less coverage. If his bills (SBs 459 & 460) come before the chamber for a vote, I will be voting No.," State Senator Johnson wrote around 2:48 pm today.
State Senator Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) bill amendments SB 459 and SB 460 failed to reach full chamber vote. Instead, Colbeck used a legislative maneuver to block the state's Medicaid Expansion. The Senator abstained from voting on the measure, thus blocking any effort of Lt. Governor Brian Calley (R) to cast the tie-breaking vote. 

As a result the bill was defeated by a 19 to 19 tie vote. Proposed State Senate legislation must receive 20 or more Representatives voting in favor for a bill passage in the chamber.
"It would have come down to a 19-19 tie and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley would have broken the tie in favor of Medicaid expansion, but Sen. Patrick Colbeck abstained from voting in order to cripple the process," State Senator Johnson wrote at 6:00 pm ET this evening on his Facebook page.
State Medicaid Expansion is a primary measure of the Affordable Health Care Act. Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has expressed support for passing the legislation but, has failed to encourage fellow Republicans in the Senate to affirm HB 4714 after GOP-led House passed legislation similar legislation in June.

According to State Senator Bert Johnson a reconsideration vote on Michigan Medicaid Expansion could occur but no specific timetable for debate in the Chamber has been scheduled as of late into the evening.

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