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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Let’s be clear: Michigan’s Republicans can get things done quicky — especially when they’re doing the bidding of their big donors.

Since taking over the governorship and winning a supermajority in the state Senate in 2010, they’ve shifted the tax burden from big business to pensioners and the poor. They’ve cut a billion dollars from education and twice implemented an emergency manager law that replaces local elected officials — almost exclusively in African-American communities — with appointed bureaucrats.

And late in 2012, just after President Obama won the state by more than 9 percent, legislation designed to cripple labor unions supported by Amway heir and one of the state’s largest GOP donors, Rich DeVoss, passed both houses of Michigan’s legislature and was signed into law by Republican governor Rick Snyder in just a few days.

They got all that done. No problem.

But the issue of Medicaid expansion, which could cover 300,000-500,000 poor Michiganders who earn too much to currently qualify for subsidized health care, was left to the last minute — because saving lives and eventually lowering everyone’s health insurance rates just isn’t a priority for Michigan’s Republicans.

It began in February. After his sudden attack on unions made him one of the most vulnerable governors in the nation, Governor Snyder followed fellow Republican swing-state governors Brian Sandoval (R-NV), Jan Brewer (R-AZ) and John Kasich (R-OH) in announcing that he wanted his state to accept Medicaid expansion as offered to states through the Affordable Care Act.

The Tea Partiers who dominated the state legislature opposed expansion as if it were Obama himself and for months, nothing happened. As the end of the legislative session neared without the law the governor needed to give his state and the federal government the six months they would need to implement expansion, Snyder stepped up the pressure. He brought in Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to beg Republicans to let the $1.5 billion Michiganders will be paying anyway go back into the state’s economy.

This was too much for the Tea Party.

“Governor Snyder has gone too far by seeking help from one of the most polarizing figures in modern history, a representative of the most destructive American President of our history as a nation,” local leaders wrote in a letter and vowed to sit out the governor’s re-election campaign in 2014.

But just days after Arizona’s Brewer overcame Tea Party opposition to pass expansion in her state, Michigan’s House of Representatives finally voted on the “Healthy Michigan” compromise.

About half of the Republican caucus joined Democrats in passing the bill.

Governor Snyder cheered the result and instructed the Senate to finish the deal while he made a week-long trip to Israel.

Of course, as the governor toured the Holy Land, Senate Republicans refused to take a vote.

  • 4sanity4all

    How is it possible that legislators keep bowing to the Tea Party agenda? Do their constituents not understand the issues and hold their feet to the fire? People better wake up to the fact that out of state money is hijacking their government and spoiling their economic future. Their labor busting agenda is heinous, and even working people fall for their disparagements against organized labor. Sorry to say, there will be a lot more suffering before we can fix this. And we will only be able to fix it when people wake up and start voting in their own best interests.

    • John Pigg

      These people/constituents have been sold an alternative view of their problems. They see government intervention into health care as damaging of their current benefits.

      And in general, I agree with them. But not expanding Medicare is simply authorizing a tax increase and sending Federal Tax dollars to other places, which is a phenomenally bad idea.

    • charleo1

      How is it possible these Republicans keep bowing to the T-Party?
      Well, first of all, there isn’t a decent pair of man balls between the whole
      pandering, ass kissing lot of them. In other words, about the same amount
      cojones material, as the T-Party has brains. And, we think it’s bad at the Capitol in Washington D.C., and it is. But it ain’t nothin’ compared to the
      crap going on in these state houses, where they have the run of the place. Much of the Country still has this ongoing slack economy. While they churn
      out bill after bill, that restricts abortion, or shuts the clinics down, or redefines
      rape, or requires a waiting period, and sonogram, plus counseling. And try
      to keep as many women away from the polls on election day as possible.
      It’s a bit like, if you crossed Mad Max, with Animal House, and held the
      entire affair in one of those big evangelical, mega churches. And Benny
      Hinn is curing the gayness up, and down the isles.

      • JDavidS

        How right you are, my friend. Sadly, the Tea Clowns are too busy dressing in their tri-corner hats and the rest of their idiotic outfits to realize they’re being played like a cheap fiddle…and most of the music is coming from two brothers by the name of Koch.

        • Wanda Davidson

          as Phyllis responded I’m taken by surprise that some people able to make $9515 in four weeks on the internet. have you read this site w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

          • JDavidS

            Shove your crap web-site up your ass.

          • Leslie Gray

            Enough of your Tea Bagger fraud already.

    • FredAppell

      You answered your own question my friend. The Tea Party is a front for some very wealthy and powerful people. I think they’re anarchists, but that’s just my opinion. They simply don’t want anything standing in the way of their true agenda.

      • bckrd1

        Seditionist would more aptly describe them.

        • FredAppell

          I agree, I used the wrong term. They still want order in the end, but only their kind of order.

  • JD Mulvey

    Kathleen Sebelius is “one of the most polarizing figures in modern history”? Do these people even listen to themselves anymore?

    • The_Magic_M

      The problem is they only listen to themselves and each other, but not to voices of reason.

  • browninghipower

    Just how do these vile scum keep getting elected? Are Michigan voters that stupid or hateful?

    • Yinzer

      It’s called Gerrymandering. The Republicans have made an exact science out of magnifying the vote of rural Redneck psychopaths.

      • Sand_Cat

        I don’t think they’ve figured out how to gerrymander enough to elect the governor, but they still voted this scum in. He ought to be wailing at the wailing wall! It’s really hard to feel bad for people who elect these dirtbags, then can’t figure out why they got screwed.

      • Corey Turner

        Oh no, it is not just rednecks. The whole west side of MI is filled with middle class religious families that create a very conservative bubble.

  • LaRae Bailey

    anytime you take anything from the federal government it is not a good idea. the further your state leaders can keep your state from them, the better. to have the expanded medicaid the states must give up far more than meets the surface to the average voter.. read between the lines and dig a bit deeper..

    • kidlantern67

      And what are the losses? Please expand on your thoughts.

    • CrankyToo

      You’re such a dumbass…

  • Buford2k11

    Why do we still call the Tea Party the Tea Party? they are the Corporate Corruption Party…or the Let’s Bribe ‘Em Party…or the Let the Little Person Die Party…or Let’s Destroy America Party…

  • Allan Richardson

    Competence? That’s against Tea Party principles!

  • Tripp47

    This is just more proof that the Tea Party is the American Taliban lackeys of wealthy trolls who want to turn this country into their personal caliphate. American voters need to wake up and ignore what these traitors have been selling and they’ve been sucking up

  • bckrd1

    I would hope that the more we hear of what the Republican led houses across the country are doing to us with bills that are attacking everyone but their puppetmasters, the more they will realize the importance of elections and the consequenses of voting in people who are acting against our best interests. These Republicans led houses are passing A.L.E.C. written bills verbatim and A.L.E.C. is destroying this country for the rest of us who are not the 1-2%. The ones who are uninformed or are manipulated because of hot button topics used to distract them from what is really happening, are voting for these people. You are killing the rest of us. Get informed and step away from Faux “News”. Please.

  • mah101

    As a Michigander, I was disappointed when Snyder was elected. I was outraged when, during the course of a few days, Michigan (MICHIGAN!) voted down unions and became a “right to work” state – what a misnomer, “right to be exploited” would be a better term. Everyone I know was aghast, but Snyder signed the legislation.

    But then, he started pushing for Medicaid expansion and the state senate turned on him. Adjourning so that they wouldn’t vote. He threatened to call them back into emergency session, and I’m not sure why he hasn’t done that.

    While I’m not a supporter by any means, Snyder doesn’t quite fit the mold. At times he seems to serve the political interests of the far right, while at other times he seems a moderate reasonable person. I can’t wait to vote him out, but in the meantime I hope he can get some control over the legislature.

    • Corey Turner

      Snyder is weird. It seems as if the DeVos family and the Koch Brothers made him an offer he couldn’t refuse with the Right to Work legislation…. How many times did he say he wouldn’t do RTW because it was so divisive, and then he turns around and signs the bill rammed through so quickly.

  • howa4x

    This is the result of the corporations moving to the state level to carry out there agenda. They have formed a non profit Named Alec to pass legislation written by the corporations. Snyder is an Alec member that is why he went to war with the unions and made Michigan a right to work for less state. The Alec agenda is to strip away environmental regulations, and bust unions. The Koch bros funded the Tealiban precisely because they are some of the stupidest people to ever enter politics. They are pushing an anti science agenda that the tealiban loves because they are not smart enough to understand science anyway. Corporations have realized that the privatization of state services is a gold mine and have enlisted republican legislators to do their bidding. This is why you see more vouchers given out as a school choice initiative in republican run states as well as the privatization of prisons. This is why more life sentences are given out in red states while the education funds are drained from public schools to private ones. bill Moyers did and excellent job reporting this new assault of our state coffers.

  • Bill

    Snyder deserves everything coming to him, too bad that the working poor are having to pay the price for Michigan going GOP.

  • Lib-world

    I thought libs hated Snyder and now he’s your Obamacare train wreck hero? Oh boy, this is getting good!

  • fran conner, there is no “Democrat” party, and JFK’s call to service would be received well by today’s Democratic Party. How would Reagan’s compromises by received by today’s Republican party?

  • Tomas Pajaros

    I agree with all these posters. The whole state of Michigan needs to be managed the way Detroit has been, with heavy emphasis on union favoritism, strong anti-business agendas and high&rising taxes. That will work out SO WELL for the “Little People” just like it has for all the little people of the Big D. Spend & tax, spend & borrow, and if anybody makes noises about not “contributing” any more, call them racists!