This is your weekly reminder. Senate Republicans need to hear from you now.
As I wrote here last week, Tea Party groups are asking their members to call their Senators every single day, urging them to vote no on Medicaid expansion. Putting aside my curiosity about how these folks have so much spare time (and, if they don’t work, how they can afford health insurance without Medicaid), it makes one point clear: Supporters of Medicaid expansion need to make sure their voices are heard.
Some Senate Republicans want to draw out the debate so long, I think, that Michigan misses the window to begin offering Medicaid to additional low-income citizens come January 1, 2014. Remember, these people are largely the working poor, seniors, veterans and the disabled.
Here’s what State Representative Andy Schor had to say on the latest alternative to Medicaid expansion announced in the Senate (which I also wrote about last week):
Republicans in the Senate are wasting time introducing these alternatives to expanding Medicaid in Michigan and providing health care to more than 400,000 Michiganders who currently go without. Considering these plans could jeopardize finishing the expansion in time. The House already passed its plan, House Bill 4714, which would accept federal dollars and save our state about $200 million a year for 10 years. Not only do these alternatives reject federal money, making Michigan even more of a donor state to the federal government, the high-deductible plans and health savings accounts put too high a burden on low-income workers. The House is ready to get to work on the Senate version of HB 4714 so that we can keep the process moving and get a reasonable bill to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for his signature.
What do we want? Medicaid expansion — real Medicaid expansion, and not one of the alternatives. When do we want it? We want it now.
A vote could come to the Senate floor before the end of August, so it’s important that your Senators, especially Republicans, hear from as many supporters as possible.
Contact your Senator today. If time permits, do it again. And be sure to remind your Senators it’s their duty to represent everyone in their district. Not just the people they agree with.