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Snyder defends Michigan's embrace of Medicaid expansion

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) on Wednesday defended his state’s recent move to implement ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion despite stiff opposition from his own party.

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Snyder told MSNBC he saw no reason to reject pieces of ObamaCare if he thought they could help his state’s citizens. 

“Too often people generalize [the Affordable Care Act] as one massive thing,” Snyder said. “My view is, it needs to be broken down into appropriate components.”

Snyder said while there were many elements of ObamaCare he didn’t like, he saw Medicaid expansion as a boon.

“It’s about helping 470,000 Michiganders, hard-working but lower-income people, get health insurance instead of having to go to the ER,” he said. 

His comments came after state senators in Michigan approved the Medicaid expansion in a 20-18 vote on Tuesday evening. The move makes it likely that at least 25 states will participate in the expansion.

The Senate's approval comes after a long period of uncertainty in Michigan, where months of intense political jockeying followed a tie vote the first time the expansion came up for a vote.

Snyder argued that Michigan has been one of the most efficient states at operating Medicaid and that the new Healthy Michigan program would remain efficient due to its components encouraging healthy lifestyles and personal responsibility.

While Snyder said he did not want to speculate on what was best for other states to do, he “would encourage other states to look at what we’re doing.” 

Many Republican governors and state legislatures have opposed ObamaCare and refused to implement its state-level components.

Sam Baker contributed