The attack on Medicaid targets urban residents but it abandons much of Michigan
Nancy Kaffer has an essential column about in SB 897/HB 897, the bill that unnecessarily targets Michiganders on Medicaid with the most regressive requirements in the entire nation, a bill that will put a unconscionable blemish on Medicaid expansion — the one undeniable success of Rick Snyder’s two terms.
The legislation includes exemptions for areas with high unemployment areas, but…
Live in Detroit? You’re out of luck.
The city’s unemployment rate is higher than 8.5%, but the unemployment rate in surrounding Wayne County is just 5.5% — meaning Detroiters living in poverty, with a dysfunctional transit system that makes it harder to reach good-paying jobs, won’t qualify for that exemption. The same is true in Flint and the state’s other struggling cities.
Get that? Rural residents of up-north counties with high unemployment are protected; urban Michiganders who live in high-unemployment cities in more prosperous counties are left to twist.
As Kaffer notes this is just one gross thing about a terrible bill that will cost the state money and lives.
But to put what’s at stake in Michigan in context, a 70,000 to 105,000 coverage loss is comparable to the coverage gains that would result if Utah or Idaho passes its Medicaid expansion ballot initiative (per @urbaninstitute estimates: https://t.co/ST5iaTefns, Table 2) 3/3
— Aviva Aron-Dine (@AvivaAronDine) May 3, 2018
Of course, 12 of the 14 legislators representing the 17 counties which would be given a pass on the GOP work requirements just happen to be Republicans.
Once you get over the obvious racial bias this bill betrays, there’s also something very dark about what Republicans are admitting here in exchange for “political cover.”
Republicans are projecting that the areas that they’re protecting, like Cheybogan and Chippewa, are going to be doomed to high unemployment for the foreseeable future. And rather than doing anything to help their constituents get back to work, they’re counting their voters being satisfied by simply screwing over minority voters.
This is how conservatives get away with policies that hurt workers and wages not just in Michigan and everywhere.
“The reactionary economic agenda made possible by dog-whistle politics is responsible not just for the devaluing of black lives but for the declining fortunes of the majority of white families,” wrote Ian Haney López and Heather McGhee.
But rarely is the right’s cynicism as obvious is it is here with attack on our state’s health care.
Democrats should not only refuse this sick attack our health, they should expose how Republicans have no hope or solutions to offer their own voters, besides divisive attacks on the most vulnerable families in the state.
[Image by the great Anne Savage.]