Dude, do your JOB!
I had a look at the state senate district maps recently and was horrified to learn that, after working hard to get solidly progressive Rebekah Warren elected to the senate, she’s actually no longer my senator. Instead, thanks to the flagrantly gerrymandered 22nd senate district, I’m now “represented” by Joe Hune. I put the word “represented” in quotes because there are almost no issues on which he and I agree. He has been one of the leaders in the senate at promoting corporatist anti-labor agendas and a general in the War on Women.
Here’s how the 22nd senate district looked before Republicans began their gerrymandering extravaganza (the red star is where I live in Scio Township):
You can see that Hune’s district was mostly Livingston & Shiawassee Counties with a little gerrymandered tail looping around the Democratic stronghold of Lansing.
Here’s how it looks now after the Great 2011 Republican Gerrymander:
I’ve gone from the 18th district to being part of Hune’s 22nd district.
Joe Hune has been a leader in stopping the expansion of Medicaid in Michigan. In a front page, above-the-fold article in the Livingston County Press & Argus yesterday, Hune says he is “troubled by the fact that the federal government would pay the full costs of expansion for three years, then down to 90 percent in subsequent years.”
“Where does that money come from and how do we believe their promises?”
Really, Joe? It’s been over a year since the Affordable Care Act was passed and you still don’t understand how it’s funded? You still haven’t realized that this will SAVE our state millions of dollars? You still haven’t gotten the message that all rational players including hospitals, doctors, and policymakers already know?
It gets worse:
“I just can’t get past the whole concept of a half a million new people on Medicaid. That’s what it boils down to. That’s the philosophical issue,” Hune said.
What Mr. Hune is saying here is that we as a society cannot afford to make sure all of our citizens have adequate access to health care. The very thing that makes Medicaid expansion good and right is, to Hune, the reason NOT to do it. Never mind that the program is paid for. Never mind that the federal government has never reneged on its promises with regard to Medicaid. None of that matters to him.
It’s a cold, heartless, and mean-spirited position that suggests one of two things: either Joe Hune is not smart enough to be a state senator or, more likely, it’s simply a transparent excuse to do whatever he can to make the Affordable Care Act fail.
Here’s the reality: Michigan is going to pay for this program either way. We can choose to participate so that nearly a half-million working poor can now have adequate health insurance that well help prevent them using emergency rooms for their medical care — an extremely expensive option that increases health care costs of ALL Michiganders. Or we can choose to participate, save millions upon millions of dollars over time, create jobs, and help our struggling fellow citizens lead healthier lives. It will, in fact, SAVE lives. But, for Hune, we can’t afford it.
Joe Hune may, in fact, not be smart enough to be a state senator. Or, more likely, he’s a liar and a hypocrite that is simply standing in the way of a victory for President Obama.
You can be very sure of this: as the 2014 election season rolls around, I and many others will be working our butts off to throw this sorry excuse for a legislator out of office. I will consider it an act of patriotism.