Eight More House Republicans Who Backed Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion
"When discussing policies impacting Michigan citizens, I focus on the issue at hand and how it affects Michigan as a whole," Rep. O'Brien said. "Whether the president likes a particular viewpoint is not a policy consideration. Debating policy does not include how others around the nation might view the legislature's actions to seriously reform Michigan's Medicaid system.
“Yes, there will likely be those who will choose to associate any consideration of reforming Medicaid as a caving in to and support of Obamacare," Rep. O'Brien continued. "However, we have an obligation to engage with philosophical opposition and support because this discussion is complex, and it is important to have a robust, passionate, and challenging debate."
Rep. O’Brien said she weighed the consequences of her vote.
"Voting 'no' might contribute to the accelerated demise of Obamacare . . . but this is far from a sure thing, especially as Michigan tax dollars would subsidize other states health care," she said. "However, voting 'no' would definitely have resulted in many negative consequences for Michigan. It would have ignored hardworking taxpayers with low incomes and missed an opportunity to secure real reforms in a system in much need of improvement for the taxpayers who support it.
"Simplifying this issue into a verdict regarding President Obama's health care plan ignores the challenges of increasing health care costs, the highly regulated health care system and the hardworking families without health insurance," she said.
Rep. O'Brien represents House District 61, which is located in part (Portage and Texas Township) of Kalamazoo County. She is serving her second term in the House. The 61st House District has a 54.2 percent Republican base.