By MICHAEL GERSTEIN
Capital News Service
LANSING — While the Legislature wrestles with a recent House decision not to expand state health care for poor families through the Medicaid program, experts say roughly 20,000 veterans will also be left uninsured if the decision sticks. “They’re going to be left out in the cold,” said Jan Hudson, a health care policy analyst for the Michigan League for Public Policy, which does research and advocacy regarding social issues like poverty, education and health. The House recently rejected Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to expand Medicaid coverage despite available federal funding for the program. According to the league, veterans in rural areas would benefit the most from the expansion because they would be able to use local hospitals in addition to sometimes-distant VA clinics. The league says there are 19 rural counties with federal community-based health clinics for veterans, yet there are 57 rural counties with veterans.