Michigan

2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

This is simply appalling.

This story is beyond disgusting. The Michigan Republican Party has mailed out a hit piece on John Fisher the Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 61st House district. The mailer asks the recipient to call a phone number to complain about Fisher’s support of the Affordable Care Act. The number they give rings at the bedside of Fisher’s mother, 91-year-old Isabel Marie Kramb, who is in hospice care with congestive heart failure.

Read the whole piece.

OK, I'll be frank, this has little to do with the Affordable Care Act itself. Michigan's state legislature has already (grudgingly) passed the ACA's Medicaid expansion program (we call it "Healthy Michigan" here, and it's been very successful).

In other words, the only directly ACA-related items likely to come up over the next couple of years are presumably a) continuing support for Medicaid expansion (not sure if it has to be renewed annually or what) and b) the outside possibility of voting on establishing our own ACA health insurance exchange in the event that the Halbig/King cases end up being upheld by the SCOTUS.

Having said that, if you support me and the work I'm doing here, I'd like to ask a personal favor of you: Please help out the woman running for representative in Michigan's 40th state house district, Mary Belden.

The official toll as of 9/22 is slightly lower, at 395K...

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 395,547
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of September 22, 2014

...but there's an even more recent figure given today, as GOP Governor Rick Snyder tries to take credit for the program (note that the article doesn't mention "Obamacare" or "the Affordable Care Act" anywhere in it):

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Just over 400,000 low-income adults in Michigan have signed up for Healthy Michigan, the state’s Medicaid expansion program.

In addition, the original estimate of the maximum eligible number of MI residents was apparently a bit high (500K); evidently the actual number is slightly lower...meaning that the percentage reached is even better by comparison:

...The state expects enrollment to eventually reach 477,000.

Back in May, you may recall that I called attention to an appallingly offensive and cruel law which the Michigan state legislature (fully controlled by the Republican Party) passed which effectively subjects up to 200 rape victims per year to cruel & unusual punishment (and/or a $500 fine) for the "crime" of being, you know, raped:

As humiliating and degrading as the "rape insurance" law is, as Michigan political blog Eclectablog notes, it actually gets far worse, because:

OK, I suppose there have been worse U.S. Senate candidates in the past, and it's conceivable that there are worse ones this year thrown in by one major party or the other as "Some Dude®" sacrificial lambs in deep Red or Blue states. However, Terri Lynn Land is certainly the worst "serious" contender this cycle that I can think of.

Anyway, Land, who somehow managed to win statewide office twice as Michigan's SOS in the past, has apparently decided that 630,000 of her potential constituents shouldn't have decent, affordable healthcare coverage, so she's signed a pledge vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

I've posted several times about the appalling shamelessness of Republican candidates trying to take credit for the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion provision (which was only possible thanks to Democrats) while continuing to badmouth the law itself.

Then there's the ones who try to take credit for Medicaid expansion finally being put into effect even though it was their own ineptness which dragged the process out...in the case of Michigan, needlessly putting hundreds of thousands of people through 3 months of unnecessary anxiety and medical risk while costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds in the process:

Thanks for Chris Savage of Eclectablog for reminding me to check in on the latest Medicaid expansion numbers here in Michigan...

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 385,541
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of September 15, 2014 

Yup, that's up another 9,800 in the past week. With roughly 500,000 Michiganders eligible for the ACA Medicaid expansion program, my state has reached 77% of the total potential enrollment in just 5 1/2 months.

Michigan's ACA expansion program has understandably slowed down, adding only 2,573 more people over the past 2 weeks, but it still deserves kudos for breaking 75% of the total Michiganders eligible (500K) in only a bit over 4 months.

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 375,744
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of September 8, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 373,171
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of August 25, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Oh, and by the way, while Michigan Governor Rick Snyder may deserve some credit for pushing his party to accept Medicaid expansion, this was only possible due to THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, AKA "OBAMACARE".

Amazing how many people can't seem to get that through their skulls, even as they heap praise on the Governor for basically "not being a jerk" in this instance. Apparently "not being a jerk" on one issue is worthy of high praise when it comes to Republican elected officials these days.

Last night I posted about MI-11 GOP Congressional candidate David Trott, who spewed a litany of tired old bald-faced lies about the ACA.

This morning I received the following from a friend, regarding 2 Republican candidates for local/state office: Hugh Crawford (term-limited state representative, running for county commission...and hoping to swap places with his wife, who's currently a county commissioner running for his state rep seat) and Mike Kowall (state Senator running for re-election):

Last night was a candidates forum at Fox Run, the Novi retirement community. Candidates for the State House, State Senate, and County Commission were there. During the Q&A a question was raised whether the candidates supported Obamacare.

Both Hugh Crawford and Mike Kowall answered this way: "I don't like Obamacare, I would have voted against it, but I very much support Governor Snyder's Healthy Michigan Initiative, which brought the state over $400 Million in Federal Money."

It's no secret that I'm a progressive Democrat. It's also no secret that I live in the metro Detroit area (although I'm actually in MI-09, Sandy Levin's district, not MI-11). Obviously I'm a bit on the biased side when it comes to local Congressional races. All that said, MI-11 Republican candidate and foreclosure attorney David Trott (best known for kicking old ladies out of their homes) gave a newspaper interview recently which was jaw-droppingly full of nonsense when it comes to (among other subjects) the Affordable Care Act.

For starters, the question itself was disgustingly biased:

Many American families experienced sticker shock when the first monthly premium arrived for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Many also now have high deductibles that make them wary of getting medical care at all. What would you do too bring down costs and improve medical care?

...but Trott decided to one-up his interviewer in the gall department:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 364,929
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of August 18, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

Here's an educated guess as to the possible impact on Michigan's uninsured rate:

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 355,699
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)

*Statistics as of August 11, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

NOTE: I originally posted this as an update to my Florida rate increase entry this morning, but it's important enough that I figured I should repost it as a separate entry.

Thanks to Caitlin Sweany of PricewaterhouseCoopers for explaining an interesting discrepancy I noted in at least one state (my own state of Michigan). This is another example of how difficult it is to nail down the actual impact of these rate changes (and remember, in many cases these are still just requests, not approved rates, subject to change). Case in point:

According to the Detroit Free Press's original story on the subject, Michigan's "average" premium rates are only going up 0.8%. Yayyyy!!!

Things are slowing down now, but Michigan continues to slowly, gradually add to the Medicaid expansion tally. With appx. 500K people estimated to be eligible for the program, they've now hit 69% of that number.

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 345,533
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)
 

*Statistics as of August 4, 2014 

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