Senate Democrats criticize Republicans for Summer Break

Lansing – Senate Democrats expressed outrage today that Republicans have left for summer recess without taking action on the critically needed Medicaid expansion legislation. The legislation would have provided health care access to almost 500,000 low-income Michigan residents and been fully funded by the federal Government, an action that would have saved the state hundreds of millions of dollars.

“I’ve seen a lot of disappointing things happen here in the Legislature, but today I’m absolutely disgusted to see my Republican colleagues walk away from their jobs for the summer without taking action on something as critical to the well-being of our state and our families as Medicaid expansion,” said Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing). “We had an opportunity in front of us to provide health care access to nearly half a million Michigan residents and save the state hundreds of millions of dollars in the process, but apparently Republicans are going to allow the Tea Party agenda to get in the way of doing the right thing. It’s disgraceful.”

Whitmer pointed out that Medicaid expansion had passed the State House with bipartisan support and was being supported by a host of business and medical groups.

“I have been calling for action on Medicaid expansion in Michigan since last November and have redoubled my efforts this legislative session, pushing to incorporate Medicaid expansion into this year’s budget,” said Senator Vincent Gregory (D-Southfield). “The Senate Republican Majority’s failure to take up this legislation is a blatant betrayal of both their civic duty and fiscal responsibility as public servants. It’s completely appalling that they feel justified in taking a summer vacation after again botching this opportunity to secure vital federal funding and extend health care coverage to nearly half a million Michigan residents in need.”