All eyes on Lansing as State Senate prepares Medicaid vote

LANSING, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - All eyes are on the State Senate as lawmakers in Michigan get ready to vote on Medicaid expansion.

Close to 500,000 people would qualify for Medicaid if the Senate passes expansion on Tuesday.

Of course, there has been great controversy with the expansion over the last few months, as legislators choose sides.

On one side, the Governor, Democrats, and a few Republicans who say it will save money for the state's taxpayers and job providers, help control medical costs, improve the state's business climate, and boost our economy.

On the other side, many Tea Party types--Republicans who have a staunch dislike of the Affordable Care Act on the federal level, which they derisively call Obamacare. Many of them say they don't have faith in the federal government to pull this off without bankrupting the country and injecting too much government into our lives.

Ultimately it appeared earlier in the day Tuesday there would be just enough support to get it through, perhaps by the slimmest of margins.

"The business community, the provider community, the patient advocates, the Governor, Democrats; we built a great coalition of people who aren't always on the same page, and looked and studied this and said this is the right thing to do financially for Michigan, and it's right for the people of our state," said Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer.

As the session opened up inside the Senate Chamber Tuesday, loud chanting could be heard from Medicaid expansion supporters, saying "Take The Vote."

They were all ushered out of the chamber and went outside to keep up the protest.

Two men in patriot outfits mocked the Tea Party, as others chanted very reminiscent of the loud protesting we heard during the Right to Work passage last year.

The two so-called patriots lambasted Senators for sitting on this for three months and not voting on it until now.

"We have honored our esteemed Senators with the wonderful Tea Party Cracked Pot Award," said one, who called himself Patriot Pat. "For their good work in fighting liberty, protecting freedom, and taking timely vacations."