Week in Michigan politics: Medicaid, Governor Snyder, and the Tea Party
State Senate approves Medicaid bill
The state Senate voted yesterday to pass a Medicaid expansion bill. The bill was approved with 20 votes after Governor Rick Snyder convinced U.P. Senator Tom Casperson to vote for the expansion. The bill will now be sent on to the House, and the question remains whether the Senate will then vote to give the bill immediate effect. Jack Lessenberry says “if not, it means that people will have to wait three months longer to qualify for Medicaid and it will cost the state a lot of money; $630 million, according to the Snyder administration.”
Governor Snyder checks items off agenda despite Tea Party's efforts
The passage of the Medicaid bill is a huge accomplishment for Governor Snyder, who has been pushing hard for Medicaid expansion. The governor may still face deadlock on road improvement, but Medicaid has been his biggest success this year. But this comes at a political cost. Lessenberry says the debate has alienated some members of the Republican party. In addition, he says that "they’re now running around saying they’re going to try to knock off Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley next year. Even state Senate majority leader Randy Richardville who supported this was kind of cool to the governor last night, so it is a legislative victory, but it is a sign of very deep splits in the Republican party."
Tea Party activist will run for Lieutenant Governor
Earlier this week Tea Party activist Wes Nakagiri announced that he is taking steps to challenge Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley for a spot on the Republican ticket next year. Lessenberry says this depends on the delegates who vote for the Lieutenant Governor office. Some delegates care about winning the gubernatorial election, but some worry more about winning control over the party. Lessenberry says that “if they were to knock off Brian Calley, it would be a tremendous slap in the face to Governor Snyder. They’d give him somebody as a number-two man who he might have a hard time working with and it probably wouldn’t be good for Republicans in the general election.”