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Sorry face, this nose has got to go

Cross-posted from Eclectablog.

It what can only be described as one of the most intentionally childishly mean-spirited, hurt-people-to-spite-Obama acts in recent Michigan history, state Senator Bruce Caswell from Hillsdale has introduced legislation that specifically prohibits Michigan from expanding Medicaid coverage as permitted under the Affordable Care Act.

Just so we're clear: it's not that he's just suggesting that we not do this incredibly smart and money-saving, life-saving thing. He is actively seeking to make it illegal to do so.

Here is the entire text of his bill, S.B. 41 (pdf):

A bill to amend 1939 PA 280, entitled
"The social welfare act,"
(MCL 400.1 to 400.119b) by adding section 105c.

     Sec. 105c. (1) The state shall not expand medical assistance program eligibility to nonelderly individuals with income at or below 133% of the federal poverty guidelines as directed under the patient protection and affordable care act, Public Law 111-148.
     (2) As used in this section, "federal poverty guidelines" means the poverty guidelines published annually in the federal register by the United States department of health and human services under its authority to revise the poverty line under section 673(2) of subtitle B of title VI of the omnibus budget reconciliation act of 1981, 42 USC 9902.
For the love of Goddess, the man has the audacity to call it "The Social Welfare Act".

If you are harboring any misconceptions about whether this is a good idea for Michigan, please have a look at LOLGOP's most recent post "5 ways Republican governors are screwing their citizens by turning down Medicaid expansion". As he so succinctly spells out, if you liked the “public option”, you’ll LOVE Medicaid expansion and states that opt out of this money-saving, life-saving option are still going to be paying for it anyway!!!

This is purely an act of spite by an anti-Obama Republican. There's no other explanation because, when you look at this option on its merits, it will help reduce costs and rein in taxes. As I pointed out recently, expanding Medicaid in this way will drop the number of uninsured Michiganders by a whopping 46% and save Michigan $1 billion in the first 10 years. This is a callous move by Caswell to strike a blow against the dreaded "Obamacare" at the expense of the working poor who are forced to seek their medical care at emergency rooms (if they seek it at all). It will result in people dying that might otherwise have lived had they had adequate health insurance. Don't forget, our state will pay for this program one way or other. The choice before us is whether or not we can expand coverage to needy Michiganders.

Such heartlessness is nothing new to Caswell, by the way. In 2011 he put forth a plan that would have required the clothing allowance given to families on welfare to be spent only at thrift shops like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.

We must reject this absurd legislation and do the right thing by our fellow Michiganders. Please sign our petition asking Governor Snyder to reject this cold-hearted partisan gamesmanship (click HERE.)

There is some hope that Snyder will do the right thing. He is reported to be considering it because it would also allow him to have more money in the state budget for mental health programs. We may know as soon as his February 7th budget address.

[Facepalm CC image credit: Alex Proimos | Flickr]

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's not JUST to spite Obama. (7+ / 0-)

    The right simply hates the middle class. One thing they learned is that the middle class can get uppity.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:13:20 AM PST

  •  The next governor will determine medicaid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alwaysquestion, judyms9


    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:33:06 AM PST

  •  Jayzus effing Crisco (8+ / 0-)

    Seriously, what is the deal with these people?  We used to joke, not all that many years ago, about someone introducing the Point And Laugh While Old Folks Die In The Street Act and stuff like that.  Now, it's part of the actual GOP agenda.  Have none of these people ever had, or at least known about, other people having a tough time and needing help?  Not having enough money to pay for food or bills or medical care or gas for the damn car or clothes for the kids or anything?

    My only consolation is that, now that they're blatantly doing it in public, people seem to be aware of it, and are voting against them in greater numbers.  Maybe in five or ten years, the GOP will be no more than a bad memory.

    But we have to pull out all the stops to counter their stupid, evil cruelty in the meantime.

    Tom Smith Online
    I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

    by filkertom on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:50:41 AM PST

    •  Sadly they don't do ANYTHING unless they (7+ / 0-)

      have personally experienced it. Mark Kirk has had a long recovery from a stroke and he did say that he never would have made any recovery at all if he was limited to the nine physical therapy sessions that is provided under Medicaid. He says that needs to be looked at -- but, at least in what I read, he didn't say he wanted to over any legislation to change Medicaid benefits...

      But why wasn't he aware of this before? Why did it take a massive stroke for him to consider the plight of others? And does this new awareness only apply to stroke victims or can he extrapolate to people who need physical therapy after an auto accident? Or to people who need preventative medication?

      This is a huge problem throughout the Republican party. Paul Ryan got Social Security after his father died, so he thinks it's unnecessary because he was able to bank the benefits for college. He cannot conceive of a circumstance where another family may desperately need those funds because HIS family didn't.

      First the thing is impossible, then improbable, then unsatisfactorily achieved, then quietly improved, until one day it is actual and uncontroversial. ... It starts off impossible and it ends up done. - Adam Gopnik

      by theKgirls on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:11:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If we don't get these aholes out of office, (6+ / 0-)

    Michigan is a goner.   Dollar to a donut Snyder will sign it....hasn't refused to sign anything yet.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:01:51 AM PST

  •  Thanks again for keeping us informed. (5+ / 0-)

    With your help and Daily Kos in general I was able to motivate a lot of people to the polls in November.

    I am now using articles like this to get these same people (and more) to realize how important 2014 is here in Michigan.

    I am the one who thanked you for making me look smart. A few more articles like this and I will be an effing genius!

  •  It is not about Obama here in Michigan. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, dragonlady

    It is about black people.  Pure and simple racism.

    In the minds of most repubs, and certainly repub lawmakers, the recipients of aid, any aid, is for single black mothers who are baby factories.  Plain and simple.  They cut welfare down to four years and out.

    They mean to squeeze the "welfare queens" and make them suffer all their own bad choices.

    In the repub mind, all poor people are bad, but the picture they see in their mind is all black women.

    MI had long had polarizing politics along black/white lines.  Repubs think black women hold the state hostage by using their kids to shield them from the consequences of their choices.

    While repubs have the single black mother in their minds as Michigan's only problem, they would not change their minds upon discovery of more whites on welfare than blacks as they simply hate all poor people.

    It's the blame game.  Finding the scapegoat is the solution to the problem for republican lawmakers and their followers.

    •  I'm confused (though it might be because I'm (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dragonlady, alwaysquestion

      trying to apply logic).

      Scenario A: Black mothers are baby factories.  Wouldn't this result in a rising (perhaps rapidly rising) tide of blacks, especially black voters, who would be voting to take more handouts?  That hasn't happened in obviously Republican dominated Michigan.  I wonder what the percentage of blacks in Michigan is vs. what it was, say, at the beginning of the Reagan (he of the Cadillac-driving welfare queen lies) administration vs. now.

      Scenario B: Access to abortion is limited, so wouldn't that make more black voters in 18 years?  Or are they counting on having more whites being born because of this than blacks?  I know there are some places where they are urging whites to procreate so they can stem the erosion of white majorities, but I didn't think they were trying to pair up anti-abortion and white birth rates.  Maybe they are.

      Or am I just nuts trying to put logic behind Republican hate of the poor and middle class?

      •  Complicated answer.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Michigan population of blacks went from 12.9% in 1980 to 14.2% in 2010, according to the gov census.

        However, the birthrate of blacks on average fell to just below 2% in the last two or three years, nationally, though still higher than whites.  However, the economic disaster has hit blacks much harder than average rate.

        Yes, some religious freaks promote procreation among whites on the fear factor.  Disgusting, that.

        You may not have heard that repubs are in the biggest fight with Detroit city council right now.  It is a huge mess.  Both sides are handling things poorly.  It makes both sides look wrong on the issues.  Repubs have literally pitted themselves squarely against an almost entirely black population, with repubs being almost entirely white males.

        Blacks cannot vote to take more handouts if it is not on the ballot.

        I think that repubs simply do not want more handouts no matter what.  They point to generations of blacks on welfare and say there is no end in sight and do not want the state budget to take on more after Fed funds dry up.

        But repubs don't understand they are the cause of a lot of this cyclical poverty.  They won't allow comprehensive sex education in schools, say nothing of nurses in schools helping  students get birth control.  So, say hello to poverty right there.  Education in general is not a priority in areas of poverty for repubs.  They are far more focused on punishment than prevention.

        •  I went to the University of Michigan back in (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the 80's and it was overwhelmingly white (I think it probably still is).  Still, we had some thoughts for social justice and equality since we grew up in the 60's even though we were greeted with cuts in the schools of Education, Music and Natural Resources to put money into the Business school.  Wonder how it's going now.  Michigan seems like a dream to me now...

          Keep up the fight, in the face of ever-worsening winds.  

  •  Our floundering cities feed into this rightwing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alwaysquestion, ColoTim

    mindset, the same cities that were abandoned by the monied who despite their feelings of superiority were unable to meet the challenges of urban life in a changing world.  

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:55:46 AM PST

  •  This is great. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We lost the election, so now we're going to screw up the state for everyone else!!  If we can't have it, nobody will!!  WWAAHHHHHHH!!!

    This is so juvenile, as to be absolutely pathetic.  The Whigs are gonna keep it up, get to 2014, and wonder why their elitist base abandons them in droves.

    To paraphrase a quote by "Bull" Halsey -

    "After we're done with them, the GOP agenda will be effective only in Hell."

    One can only hope.

    "There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result." - Winston Churchill

    by Dingodude on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:45:46 AM PST

    •  But they're trying to ensure that even in the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      minority, only their votes count (the gerrymandering) so they can continue to ensure low taxes for the rich, the ability to abolish governments of cities they don't like, and the ability to keep more and more people ever more disadvantaged compared to the upper-class whites.

      •  Well, funny thing about money.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        turns out that even the rich white people get hit once in awhile.  I'm talking about the search for gas and fracking.  There is gas under the lakes throughout Michigan.  And a lot of rich people live around those lakes; their houses are big and expensive.  But, it could just be that current repubs in Lansing can be bought by gas execs and retire rich for their fracking rights vote.

        Environmentally sad, but laughable given all those rich people around those lakes vote for the very people that would ruin their homes and lakes.

  •  Scott Walker is struggling with this issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He has to decide soon whether to accept $12 million in Medicaid money to cover more than 100,000 more people--low-income adults without minor children--under BadgerCare (Wisconsin's version of Medicaid) and in the process create 10,000 new health care jobs. (The latter would help a bit in reaching his promised 250,000 new jobs in his first term, of which he still needs something like 90 percent.)

    Any normal person would not find this a difficult decision. But we're talking about Scott Walker here.

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