In a dramatic shift, the Michigan legislature voted by the narrowest of margins to provide healthcare insurance for the state’s poorest citizens.
The GOP-controlled chamber approved the bill by a 20-18 vote at about 8 p.m. Tuesday after being in session for more than eight hours, much of it spent in caucus debating how to get the expansion passed. Eight Republicans finally joined 12 Democrats to pass the bill.
The House, which had already passed an expansion bill, will soon take a concurring vote, and Gov. Rick Snyder’s office confirmed to TPM that the governor would sign the legislation when it reaches his desk.
Before the bill ultimately passed, the legislation was stuck in parliamentarian limbo for more than two hours.
The bill needed 20 votes out of the 38-member Senate to pass. On its first vote at about 5:30 p.m., it received 19 yea votes and 18 nay votes in a floor vote, but Republican Sen. Patrick Colbeck, who is vehemently opposed to expansion, abstained from voting. If he had cast a nay vote, leaving a 19-19 tie, then Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Calley could have cast the tiebreaking vote to pass the bill, as Calley has pledged to do.
Michigan joins a number of states with Republican governors who all campaigned against Obamacare only to decide later that “well, it might not be such a bad thing after all.” They are incurring the wrath of the Tea Party — it’s socialized medicine rammed down the throats of Real Muricans by that secret gay Muslim Kenyan usurper, and besides, what’s an emergency room for?
Florida Gov. Rick Scott came to the same conclusion as Gov. Snyder, but he couldn’t get the legislature to go along with the expansion. What a shock.