Gov. Jennifer Granholm put up a bold front in Tuesday's State of the State message. But reading between the lines, she hints that an ever-darker future looms for the state economy. Materially as important for residents, the response by Republicans is a tip-off that the standoff between the parties in the Legislature will continue as fiercely as ever.
State Sen. Michael Bishop, the Senate Majority Leader from Rochester, made perfectly clear the dynamic will continue inasmuch as his party refuses to yield ground in its continued and fervent belief that tax cuts and less spending is the medicine Michigan needs.
Oh, we are going to get "less spending". As one who remembers the lists of cuts from '07... well, you'll see. Granholm has been warning about this for weeks, and did it again today.
And while the number of Medicaid enrollees hit a record high last September in Michigan -- providing coverage to 1.6 million residents -- funding to hospitals for care of Medicaid patients has dwindled by more than $850 million since 1996, according to the report.
These developments are "forcing Michigan hospitals perilously near the edge of a financial cliff," said Spencer Johnson, the association's president.
To help offset losses, hospitals have begun laying off workers and halting construction on new buildings at a time when Michigan hospitals are treating more patients than ever.
And they will continue to raise insurance rates to make up the difference. Watch for the health care industry to ask for a "bailout" if this continues.