Michigan Senate fails to vote on Medicaid expansion

Michigan Senate fails to vote on Medicaid expansion

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Senate Republican Leader Sen. Randy Richardville Senate Republican Leader Sen. Randy Richardville
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

There were demonstrators on the Capitol steps and protesters in the Senate gallery all hoping for a vote Wednesday on Medicaid expansion. It was a vote that did not come.

The Democrats blamed the Republicans.

"The Senate Republicans stand alone in their ignorance and obstinance," said Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, the Senate Democratic leader.

It was an unusual scene in the state Senate. It was taped off like a crime scene. All the chairs, the voting machines and other amenities for the senators were gone. New carpeting will be installed this summer in the chamber.

So as senators stood around, the Democrats pressed for a vote while the Republicans called for more time to study the bill.

"Why does Michigan always have to be the last one at the table when it's talking about taking care of our people," Whitmer said. "We're ready to vote. We've been ready. Anyone who says this is a new issue has either been asleep at the wheel or is just full of baloney."

Senate Republican Leader Sen. Randy Richardville said he expects a committee vote perhaps by the end of July.

Congressman John Dingell was watching this all unfold. He sponsored the national healthcare law, and he believes money and lies are in play.

"This is going to save Michigan about a billion dollars over ten years if they vote for it. Second of all, it is going to give something like 220,000 people healthcare immediately," Dingell said.

The governor, who has been critical of the inaction by Senate Republicans, is now singing a different tune.

"I think they're working at a faster pace then they previously were working at, which I think is a good thing," Gov. Rick Snyder said.

So the talking will continue, but the voting will wait for another day.

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