Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Universal Health Care Coverage in Michigan

One really has to wonder what it is about governments in general and the State of Michigan in particular that makes bureaucrats believe that our benevolent leaders in Lansing have the ability to do much of anything other than collect a pay check.

Our state is awash in red ink and is falling farther and farther behind states such as Indiana, Texas, North Carolina and even, gasp, Alabama in its quest for job creation. Our public schools are far from the top, our roads and bridges brittle, and our prisons overcrowded and poorly staffed. Unemployment? Well, it is high. Our tax base? Shrinking. The only measurable statistic by which Michigan is at the top or near the top is in out-of-state bound rental moving trucks.

So, what could an elected offical, buoyed by our state's stunning success in all other areas of governance, be expected to do other than to try and get the state to assume even more responsibility over our lives? Well, today's hero for the masses is Lt. Gov. John Cherry who, among others, is planning on launching a petition to put on Michigan's ballot a proposal to provide universal state wide health care coverage. Now, who could ever envision anything going wrong with that?

From today's Detroit Free Press:

A campaign that claims support from key Michigan labor and religious groups, the AARP and Lt. Gov. John Cherry who plans to launch a petition drive next month to ask Michigan voters to approve statewide, universal health care.

The coalition would amend the state constitution to require the Legislature to enact "affordable and comprehensive health care coverage" in the same way the constitution mandates state support of free public education.

Health Care for Michigan, headed by former state Rep. John Freeman, an Oakland County Democrat, is to appear today before a state elections panel to ask for approval of its petition forms. But the campaign is already well under way, spokesman Gary Benjamin said Tuesday. The group's polling shows broad popular support for the idea, he said.

The amendment would "create a duty to provide health care coverage for everyone," Benjamin said. "But it's not a plan; it's a constitutional amendment."
This ought to make Michigan more competitive in the job's marketplace--a burdensome tax placed on the backs of employers who only have to move across the state boundary to avoid the red tape and financial burden. All this while being able to relocate their staff (and in case no one noticed, their taxpaying staff) to a locale where vastly superior private health care providers are in charge of the medical field.

Let me get this straight--after all the difficulties this state has experienced over the past few years, the best thing these socialists have to offer Michigan job creators is an added incentive to pull up roots and move elsewhere? Wow, that is a real accomplishment. Maybe we aren't being blown away but we are certainly being swept away.

Alas, this looks like a program that could see massive support among Democrats. What's not to like? We can always worry about paying the bill later.

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