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Friday, October 21, 2016

It took two votes, but months after Governor Rick Snyder (R-MI) told legislators to “take a vote, not a vacation,” Medicaid expansion has finally passed Michigan’s state senate. An estimated 470,000 Michiganders who currently earn too much to qualify for Medicaid are likely to get fully subsidized health insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Now a state Republican official is predicting the political wrangling that ended with Senator Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) switching his vote in favor of expansion will cost the state GOP big in 2014.

“We will see division in our county, district and state party,” Adrian M. Poulisse, the Michigan GOP’s 1st Congressional District Secretary, wrote on the Delta County Republican Party website. “We will see primary challengers step up against incumbents. We will see some of the most divisive conventions we have ever seen.”

Poulisse went on to say that passing an element of Obamacare without even a majority of the Republican caucus will reverberate into next year’s election.

“We could end up losing the vacant Senate seat and thus cost a GOP majority in the U.S. Senate. We could lose our slim majority in the state house. We will likely lose our governor race because our own party sits it out or votes third party.”

Poulisse included “30 Peices of Silver,” (sic) “Barack H Obama,” and “Judas Iscariot” as tags on his post.

Divisions in Michigan’s GOP have been brewing for months. In February, Snyder had to cut a trip to Washington D.C. short in order to prevent Tea Partier Todd Courser, a favorite of the so-called “Freedom Caucus,” from defeating the governor’s choice for state party chairman.

Lt. Governor Brian Calley — a Tea Partier who was willing to be the tie-breaking vote in favor of Medicaid — is facing a primary challenge from an even more conservative Tea Partier, Wes Nakagiri.

The irony of course is that despite Medicaid expansion, Governor Rick Snyder and the state’s Republicans have steamrolled through a right-wing agenda since taking office in 2011. They slashed education, cut taxes for corporations, eliminated tax breaks for the poor and pensioners, made it harder for a woman to get an abortion and passed legislation that makes it much more difficult for unions to organize.

But Snyder, facing re-election in a state that voted for President Obama by more than 9 percent, knew his party could not turn down the $7 million a day the state would have lost by rejecting Medicaid expansion. Just that one small step toward moderation was a “crushing blow to hope for Michigan Republican unity,” according to Adrian M. Poulisse.

(h/t @JPughMI)

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  • 4sanity4all

    So, Michigan actually went for President Obama, but the Republicans there thought it would be a good idea to force an agenda against most voter’s interests? And the Tea Party candidates think they have a chance to grab seats away from those who assured everyone in Michigan of getting health care they can afford? Maybe the Michigan voters will surprise all of the Republicans, moderate and right wing alike, and just vote in some Democrats. Maybe there was a “crushing blow to Michigan Republican unity” because Governor Snyder actually had the brains to make a move that made economic sense for the people who elected him. Years ago, moderate Republicans would have cheered for that, not condemned it.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Of course they do. That’s because the Tea Party Candidates are convinced the reason that Republicans lose elections is because they are not running as conservative enough. It’s all part of their “shoot themselves in the foot” program for losing elections.

      • Yvette White

        What I don’t get is do they really think that this will get them Re-elected ? and can they win with only their base, don’t they need some of us to win an Election. someone tell me if I am wrong

  • John Pigg

    Opposing Medicaid expansion is the doctrine for defeat. It simply makes no sense to opposes this issue. Declining Federal Funds for your citizens is absurd, why should your state pay for the medicaid expansion in other liberal states.

    For the life of my I can’t understand this one.

    • Siegfried Heydrich

      Because they’re more afraid of their base than they care for the citizens of their states. The logic is quite simple. They want to keep their jobs. That’s their overriding goal, everything else is so secondary as to be insignificant. Being re-elected is ALL they are concerned with. In order to run in the general election, though, they have to get through the Primary or they won’t be in the general.

      So they have to do what the base demands or the base will turn on them in a fury, even if they have only transgressed even in the slightest (McConnell as a case in point). And in order to keep from being primaried by someone crazier than them, they have to be crazier than their potential challengers (once again, McConnell).

      And the base hates Obamacare with a screaming passion because Obama got it passed. It has Obama cooties on it, so they will do whatever they can to sabotage it, even if it brings ruin to their states, the nation, or the economy. Because their re-election is more important than literally anything else on the planet.

      Simple, really.

      • John Pigg

        It’s not simple.

        It’s basically a tax increase. Think about it our conservative state is contributing tax dollars to the Federal Government. The Federal Government is spending that tax money on a program in liberal states. So we refuse the program?

        At the end of the day conservative states are paying for liberal states healthcare expansion? How does that make any sense at all?

        • Siegfried Heydrich

          You’re think macro. They’re thinking micro. You are correct on the macro scale, but that simply doesn’t enter into the equation for most of the red state politicians. They have a single goal – re-election. Micro – their ambition outweighs your macro.

          No matter how great the deal is, no matter the good it does their state and their people, if they go for it, they will very likely not be re-elected because their base will rip them from gullet to zorch.. So, all of the logic, reason, advantages, everything you cited is utterly irrelevant. It’s like a meth addict – he doesn’t care about going to prison as long as he can get his next high.

          What is relevant is getting re-elected, and they are more than willing for you to pay whatever price is necessary for them to keep their office. Like I said, simple.

        • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

          Actually, most of the Liberal States are paying for the programs in the Conservative States because those states refused to fund their own programs. Like you stated in an above post, they are more concerned with catering to their base than they are to take care of the entirety of the state.

  • docb

    Things fall apart…..good enough.. baggers should never have been elected in the first place. It is happening all across the Nation. Repub bagger OVER-REACH leads to internal destruction every time!

    Problem is they have done it to the PEOPLE to continue the Corporate Welfare for their donors at the Nations expense!

    • Yvette White

      I think we are all forgetting something their hate is more then the Politics, they hate anybody or anyone who dose not look like them or think like them, and they really hate the country for voting Obama back in, and now its pay back.