GOP governor invites Sebelius to meet on Medicaid expansion

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said Friday that he asked Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to meet with state officials on a proposal to cap Medicaid benefits for able-bodied adults.

Officials remain divided on whether to pursue the Medicaid expansion available under President Obama's healthcare law, a topic that would inevitably figure in the conversation with Sebelius.

Medicaid issues are at the center of the state's policy agenda before the legislature adjourns for the summer in late June. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Snyder supports expanding Medicaid with mostly federal dollars under the Affordable Care Act, but that proposal was rejected by Republican state lawmakers who want to limit the program's benefits.

One GOP proposal would place a four-year lifetime cap on Medicaid coverage for non-disabled adults. Snyder has questioned whether the plan is legal, and federal officials have said they would not approve it.

Snyder recently met with federal health officials about the proposal. Speaking with reporters on Friday, he said that getting their approval would be a "challenge."

GOP legislative leaders, however, are not backing down.

"That's absolutely untrue," Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R) said of claims that his caucus wants to pass a non-starter Medicaid proposal, according to The Detroit News. "What we've put forward is very reasonable."

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R) added that he would only agree to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare if federal officials agree to certain limits on the program.

"If we take this money, it's not going to be on their terms. It's going to be on our terms," Richardville said.

The Affordable Care Act allows states to expand eligibility in their Medicaid programs up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level using mostly federal dollars.


The opportunity has pitted several Republican governors who support the policy against their more conservative legislatures. 

In states that accept it, the expansion can take effect as early as Jan. 1, 2014.