Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder checked off one of the major priorities of his first term on Monday, signing into law a measure that will make hundreds of thousands of state residents eligible for Medicaid.
Snyder's signature at the ceremony at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn makes Michigan the largest state controlled by Republicans to support a key component of the new federal health care law.
It will expand the government health insurance program to almost a half-million Michigan residents within a few years, nearly halving the state's uninsured. An estimated 320,000 are expected to be eligible in late March if the federal government approves the plan.
"This is something that's really important. This is about the health of our fellow Michiganders," Snyder said to applause prior to the bill-signing, noting that "we didn't do anything about it for many years."