Michigan Senate passes Medicaid expansion 20-18
This is a victory for hard-working, low-income Michiganders, and everyone who advocated on their behalf.
It would be tempting to gloat, just imagining the tears of the zealots who fought so hard to deprive nearly 500,000 Michigan residents of access to health insurance.
But instead, I’ll just say THANK YOU. To every organization, citizen and legislator who took action to make this happen. Every rally, phone call, email and letter made a difference. A majority of Michigan legislators put their party politics aside and did what was best for Michigan and its residents.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
If only. I met with two other small NAMI directors yesterday and advised them that the MHAC has not given up yet. They assured me that it “isn’t gonna happen.” However, the Mental Health and Addiction Advocacy Coalition of Ohio continues to press the issue. Hopeless as it seems.
How wonderful for the people in Michigan. Hopefully this puts more pressure on the Ohio GOP.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Please explain.
I hope it spreads here, too.
O/T but there was a short news story on my friend Holly who thought her cats had perished in a fire. They captured a nice reunion with Sweetie. Michelangelo is still not wanting to be touched.
@MomSense: Thanks for sharing that. I wondered when I read the news reports that said a dog was lost.
I hate to be the one to rain on the parade, but it’s really just bad news disguised as good news. You might want to note this:
What they passed is in no way a clean Medicaid expansion. Quite the opposite:
It attached a bunch of poison pills that make it not-Medicaid: co-pays, deductibles, work requirements, instant cutoffs. fixed periods of eligibility, I.e., to make Medicaid look exactly like unemployment insurance. The trouble is, that is NOT Medicaid in any way, and there’s no way that HHS grants a wavier and lets THAT horse out of the barn. Sebelius has already denied waivers for far fewer shenanigans then Michigan is trying to pull with what they call “Medicaid.”
Either all the poison pill amendments get stripped out in committee, or the whole thing becomes a Kabuki dance that changes nothing, but lets the Rs point the finger at Obama when Medicaid actually fails to get expanded.
I’m watching this story VERY closely. As an unemployed Ph.D. with chronic health issues, it is THE determining factor whether I leave this state. I have a dog in this hunt. It’s called my life.
@MomSense: That’s a wonderful outcome. Can’t blame Michelangelo for being crabby.
Hmmm. That is disconcerting.
@Baud: Galactic understatement, at least from my perspective. Life and death issues tend to focus one to crystal clarity, even when the Republicans throw up as much mud as they can to cloud the issue.
They actually want the money, though. The political wrangling gets all the attention, but bottom line, strip out all the BS, OH and MI want the money.
So I’m hopeful.
Hope you’re right. Still, it would have been nice to have a clean win.
These days a win of any kind is better than the conservative shit they keep throwing against the wall.
I just don’t get what the end game is here. What do they hope to get out of all the obstructionism? Lower taxes? Is it just racial spite? Is it just the backlash of a dying, ignorant theory of government?
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@raven: Sorry! Medicaid expansion has been an advocacy project for many in the mental health community – as well as other public health folks in OH. At my meeting with two other small SW OH NAMI directors yesterday, they suggested, in essence, I get over the notion that Ohio will have medicaid expansion.
I agree it looks unlikely, but I know the MHAC has been hard at work on the issue, as I participated in that, and we haven’t given up yet. If anyone want’s to help my wee NAMI survive, email me FLSgreen at gmail. There is a Team Bella Q in our fundraising walk.
@Kay: They want the money but want to use it for their own pet projects, to divert it all away from Medicaid. That’s part of the Kabuki: as they see it, they win either way. Either the waiver is granted, which allows them to have something not-Medicaid and use the money for more tax cuts, or it isn’t, in which case they can blame Obama for not getting the money.
Mind, a lot of this sort of gaming out was done by Snyder. A lot of the legislature – particularly the Senate – is so tea-soaked they see even a FAKE vote for anything Obamacare as a poison pill in itself.
I get it with the Tea Party pressure. There is no “Tea Party” in Ohio without opposition to Obamacare. They never had any other issue. I don’t know if that’s true in Michigan, or if the pressure is as intense as in Ohio. I think Republicans are harmed here politically if it passes, because the Tea Party really are the base. They’re the only energy source.
I’m just guessing, but does it make sense for Republicans to take such a hard vote and then try to explain to the Tea Party “don’t worry, Obama won’t grant us a waiver”? They’re stuck with the vote the minute they made it. No base Republican will listen to some nuanced, 3 step strategy. You know how they are. They want a REPUDIATION of Obamacare! Nothing less will do. They’ll see tonight as a huge loss.
I just keep coming back to the fact that states get stuck with uncompensated care. I don’t think Republicans will magically undergo some humanitarian conversion. I think they want the money.
Anyway, I hope so on your account and I’m so sorry that it’s still up in the air for you. That must be very difficult. If you hear anything specific as this goes on please let us know.
If that is the strategy, it seems like a terrible strategy. Their base will absolutely loathe them for the vote, and they’ll look like fuck-ups to anyone who was on the fence if they take the vote and then don’t get the money.
Maybe it’s a strategy to appeal to the 171 (or so) “independents” who were hoping they’d pretend to pass Medicaid but then didn’t? There’s nothing saying they can’t be pursuing a dumb strategy, but I don’t think it makes sense politically.
I had a really crappy day at work and badly needed a spot of good news — thanks!
Another piece of good news that I followed from that same page: Boys on bicycles spot and follow kidnapping suspect, rescue 5-year-old girl. Bikes to the rescue!
@Kay: I will. As was pointed out to me earlier, I’m naturally a cynic and a pessimist. What you say makes a lot of sense, but in the end, the fact remains that they passed a Medicaid bill loaded with poison pills, even if the strategy behind it was a stupid one on Snyder’s and the legislature’s parts…
And it would be wholly unusable to me in the form they passed it in. If I could afford a $3000 deductible, I wouldn’t need Medicaid in the first place, and the idea of starting to take it then getting cut off after, say, 20 weeks, make it a losing prospect for me.
In at least one sense, I’m lucky: I can leave the disaster behind and move to New York to save my own skin. But that means leaving my family behind, so there would be a price.
Also, since I’m feeling like I need uplift instead of argumentation today, here’s the real highlight from the VMA’s: Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, and a surprise guest performing “Same Love.”
In semi-related news WalMart (Always low quality!) Has announced that their crappy health plan will be offered to gay and lesbian domestic partners for next year’s enrolment. Whoopee.
Hoping for a double win here: gays make general social progress,wingtards freak out on WallMart and further erode sales.
@Kay: Any idea where I can find information about the ACTUAL impact the ACA will have on rates for small business group plans? The Ohio Insurance Commission’s report is full of scary 80% increases, and I know they’re cherry-picking the data to come up with those numbers-no surprise since the OIC is led by Little Mary Lt. Gov. I did some superficial research and couldn’t come up with anything substantial enough to shut up my screaming relatives. Gotta love the (not so) subtle undertone of sticking it to the poors.