Friday, May 15, 2009

MI Senate Republicans Want to Raise Taxes, Create Government Programs For Health Care Fix

So I'm reading this in the Detroit News yesterday, and I'm having one of those moments where I wonder if my life is really real, if I'm not actually in a version of the "Sixth Sense" where I'm dead and I just don't know it. This happens to me every once in a while when something so bizarre occurs that I think my mind must be making it up.

"They don't know they're dead. They only see what they want to see."

Like that. And then I try to pinpoint when it was I actually died, but I digress...

Our Senate Republicans, yes, the ones in Michigan, want to create new government programs and raise taxes on business to pay for health care. You read that right.

As many as half of Michigan's 1.2 million uninsured could get state-funded health insurance under a bipartisan healthcare reform proposal unveiled by the state Senate this morning.

The four-bill package called MI Health, would create two state health plans: MI Access, an expanded Medicaid program; and MI Coverage, a state-funded health insurance plan for low-income workers.

It also would provide a "reinsurance" fund to pay the costs of individually insured patients whose bills total more than $25,000 in a year. Consumer protections are included to prohibit insurance companies from hiking rates for sick patients, closing pools of consumers with too many sick patients and other practices to reduce their risks.

Say whaaaa...? How can this be? The House Democrats unveiled their plan this week as well, and the House Republicans complained because they weren't focused on "jobs". What do you think they would have said about this next item?

High on the list of differences is the funding mechanism for the Senate package, which (Rep. Marc Corriveau, D-Northville) said will assess surcharges on large companies like the Big Three automakers and automotive suppliers that are struggling to stay afloat.

"Adding a tax at this time -- we're going to be very cautious about that," Corriveau said.

The Republicans are suggesting this? No way.

Way. MIRS confirmed it later in the day, with this super added extra special bonus from Senator Tom George - he comes out and admits that Republicans have been obstructionist.

George acknowledged that the GOP has been saddled with the obstructionist stereotype and said they're being proactive.

“We don't want that. That's bad. We need to be helping find solutions using Republican principles,” he said.

You can't just say no,” George added. “Michigan has problems that can't be ignored.”

Which confirms that they have been the "Party of No", but now that it doesn't work for them anymore, they are going to change their ways by ... becoming Democrats, or something. I don't know, I'm absolutely floored by all of this. The devil is in the details, which have yet to be worked out, so I'm not going to make a major study of this right now. I'm still trying to figure out whether or not I'm actually alive at this point, or if some little kid is going to come along soon and clue me in.

Fortunately the Senate Republicans solved my dilemma for me. At the very same time yesterday, they also proved that they still are those same 'ole Senate Republicans, indeed. To make this grand announcement, they put off voting for the 90-day moratorium on home foreclosures bill that the House had passed until next week, a move that delays relief for Michigan citizens facing imminent foreclosure, and irritating enough that the usually quiet Senate Minority Leader Mike Prusi issued a statement about their negligent behavior.

“Michigan families who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads have waited long enough for help from Lansing,” said Senate Democratic Leader Mike Prusi (D- Ishpeming). “There better be a darn good reason for Senate Republicans to have put them off yet again by sitting on their hands for another five days at least.”

THAT is the Senate that I know and love. I must still be alive. Whew.

Although I was looking forward to just walking into the ballgames for free. Oh well.