GOPocrisy in full display
SEE UPDATES BELOW
In 2013, Michigan Republicans have already sent 107 bills to Governor Rick Snyder, all but one of which he signed into law. Of those 106 new laws (pdf), all but 6 — 5.7% — were passed with Immediate Effect meaning that they went into effect immediately rather than the statutorily-mandated 90 days after the end of the current legislative sesssion.
Here’s how it looks graphically:
You may recall these images of Michigan Democrats trying to stop bills from being passed with Immediate Effect:
In countless cases, bills that were passed without the requisite 2/3 majority were still declared by Republican leadership, without a voice vote, to have been passed with Immediate Effect.
But not legislation that would help nearly a half million Michiganders obtain affordable health care, save thousands of lives, and help combat the rise in health care costs. This, for them, was a bridge too far.
If you wonder why progressives are so outraged by the lack of immediate effect for Medicaid Expansion, this is it. The utter hypocrisy of it is galling and offensive.
The Senate and House may both be voting on Medicaid Expansion today. Visit Amy’s excellent ACTION post about how you can help encourage recalcitrant Republicans to do the right thing, pass Medicaid Expansion with Immediate Effect, and prevent so many working poor families in Michigan from having to wait needlessly until next April before they can begin receiving this life-saving assistance. Don’t forget, our state will save money in the bargain.
You can also sign a petition put out by Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer, demanding the Republicans pass the law with Immediate Effect:
Last week, after almost a year of obstruction, the state Senate voted to provide over 400,000 of Michigan’s seniors, children, and working families health care – with Democrats providing a majority of votes.
If the Legislature doesn’t finish the job – including granting Immediate Effect to the bill – Michigan will lose over $600 million in Medicaid funding. This is too crucial for the extremists in the Legislature to play partisan games. They need to act now, before it’s too late.
Click here to sign the petition telling Lansing Republicans to finish the job by voting to give Medicaid expansion Immediate Effect.
The Tea Party has obstructed this bill for too long. Health care for over 400,000 Michigan kids, seniors, and working families is on the line. We can’t afford more excuses from Lansing Republicans. We need Governor Snyder’s allies in the State Legislature to act now.
Demand action: click here to add your name.
Sign Mark’s petition HERE.
UPDATE: Two things. First, I have been asked about the statement that we will lose “over 600 million dollars” due to the lack of Immediate Effect. This is due to the fact that, according to Jim Haveman, the Director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, without immediate effect, we will lose $7 million a day in Affordable Care ACt funds after January 1st, 2014 until Medicaid Expansion is in place. Medicaid Expansion as passed by the Senate won’t kick in until April so we’re looking at roughly 90 days x $7 million = $630 million in lost revenues for the state of Michigan.
Second, our glorious “small government” Repblicans passed a grand total of 625 bills that were signed into law by Governor Snyder in 2012. Of these, only 14.1% were passed without Immediate Effect. Given that an astonishing 281 of these bills were passed during the Lame Duck session after the November election, the wait time for those that weren’t passed with Immediate Effect was much shorter than those Michiganders who live without health care coverage that they could obtain from this legislation. Keep in mind, most of these people HAVE a job. It just doesn’t offer health care insurance and doesn’t pay enough for them to afford it and still be able to pay the rent, put food on the table, and keep the water and electricity on their homes.
625 bills, 281 in the last few weeks of the session. It’s a truly astonishing record, particularly for the tea party extremists who now control our state legislature and claim that they are there to end the reign of Big Government.
UPDATE 2: The Senate did NOT take up reconsideration of Immediate Effect today as many thought they would
Senate Minority Leader Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit, began Tuesday’s Senate session with a motion to reconsider last week’s vote on immediate effect, which saw 14 Republicans break caucus protocol to deny a needed 2/3 majority.
But Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who presides over the upper chamber, informed members that the bill had already left the Senate and was on its way to the House. If approved there later Tuesday, the Senate vote to deny immediate effect will stand.
“The tea party in Michigan is the tail that is successfully wagging the dog,” Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, said in a floor speech. “To the average citizen, it simply makes the majority look petulant and petty. To the average citizen, they’re scratching their heads saying, ‘What on earth is going on?’ in this chamber.”
Winning “Most Offensive Quote of the Day” is Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville:
“We’re done,” he said of the Medicaid bill. “We’re moving on to different issues now… It’s kind of like we had this really big dinner. We got the dinner done and now some people are asking for dessert. We’re going to skip dessert on this one and move forward.”
Right, Randy. Life-saving health care coverage is just like dessert. Tell that to 470,000 Michiganders who now have to wait while you and your Republican pals play politics in a desire to do whatever it takes to harm President Obama’s signature achievement.
UPDATE 3: The House has now approved the Senate version of the Medicaid Expansion bill (without Immediate Effect) and it now goes to Governor Snyder for his signature.
[Photos courtesy of state House Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor)]