The Michigan Senate voted last week to start writing Obamacare into Michigan law, in the form of Senate Bill 693. Nobody expected this, because the Senate has a Republican majority. However, the GOP Establishment has it's own murky reasons for existence, and has a lot of interesting tricks up its sleeves.

     Senator Colbeck made the following speech in the Senate in opposition to SB693.

Senator Colbeck’s statement, in which Senators Kowall, Schuitmaker, Robertson, Moolenaar and Proos concurred, is as follows:

I rise in strong opposition to Senate Bill No. 693. My original cosponsor commitment was predicated on the understanding that this bill would provide a free-market alternative to the Affordable Care Act. As a co‑sponsor, I have worked hard to ensure that this bill would live up to this promise.

My concerns have not been addressed in this version of the bill, and I have read it thoroughly. Rather than serving as a free-market alternative, I have come to the conclusion that this bill would simply further enable the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

I have worked hard to earn a reputation in my short tenure for not simply saying “no” to legislation that fixes real problems. I have worked hard to provide alternative solutions. Such is the case in Senate Bill No. 693. Our citizens do need access to affordable health care. Our state would have more jobs if we implemented a health care system that provided lower cost and higher-quality care for our citizens rather than the citizens in other states. I regret to say that this bill does not provide an effective solution to these very real needs that is consistent with the free market principles that made us a great nation.

I would liked to have had time to submit a vetted substitute that would have addressed the concerns that myself and others who believe that the government should establish a single exclusive marketplace for private health care plans, but the timeline procedure did not allow for such a proposal in the Senate. My alternative solution would rein in the scope of the exchange to focus on the determination of eligibility for government assistance to citizens and the definition of data exchange standards that would enable private exchanges to provide consumers with apples-to-apples comparisons of health policies.

Instead, we have before us a bill that creates a Michigan health marketplace that performs all exchange duties and a bill with no definition of what an exchange is. It also performs a certification of private health care plans. It provides plan enrollment, plan purchasing, grants for navigators that threaten traditional insurance broker roles, and call centers to direct consumers to government ombudsmen. By serving as a middle man for financial transactions, I am concerned that the exchange may actually increase insurance costs because of the potentially significant payment delay to insurance providers.

In short, I have no confidence that this bill will yield a free-market solution. The Michigan health marketplace would be a nonprofit organization that is a product of our state and federal government with overarching control of health care delivery within our state. A free-market solution which focuses government organization on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of government programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, and VA services, and leave the comparison, enrollment, and purchase of private health insurance options to private vendors, including private exchanges.

The majority of us were elected on the platform that included fighting the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. Make no mistake, colleagues, a “yes” vote on this bill, as currently drafted, is a “yes” vote to support it.


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TIM SKUBICK: Snyder alienates the tea party

Excerpts from column:

"It took 10 months, but Gov. Rick Snyder is now officially in hot water with the tea party crowd. That’s no shocker. It was never a question of “if” but only “when” the falling out would get nasty.

“He’s not a conservative. He is not for smaller government,” said Scott Hagerstrom who runs the Michigan chapter of the right-leaning and tea party dominated Americans for Prosperity, which has 65,000 members.


That angered the AFP folks even more after they watched the governor standing next to the president’s transportation chief, joyfully accepting federal stimulus dollars for a mass transit project in southeast Michigan earlier this year

But it finally reached the breaking point when the governor convinced the GOP Senate to create a new health-care market system to implement health care changes. “I was surprised,” Hagerstrom said. “Basically what they’ve done is declared war on the tea party and tea party activists.” And he’s just getting warmed up.


In case the Snyder team misses the point, he puts this ribbon on the package: “He’s not in tune with the people of the state. We might have been better off with a do-nothing Jennifer Granholm.”

Michigan has the power to nullify Obamacare because it is flagrantly unconstitutional, if our legislature only had the moxie to do it.

Thomas Jefferson persuaded Kentucky to nullify the Alien and Sedition Acts, though federal law, as unconstitutional, and James Madison persuaded Virginia to do the same.

What are we waiting for??

     Good news for anyone who wasn't looking forward to Michigan Republican Senators instituting Obamacare. Here's an excerpt from

"The House removed $9.8 million added by the Senate to create a state "Obamacare exchange" to administer "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" subsidies, $8.6 million added to subsidize doctor training programs, around $20 million added for other Medicaid-related disbursements, plus lesser amounts for other state programs."

     H.B.693's passage has generated widespread interest. There is an interesting post currently on the home page of Tea Party Patriots of W.Oakland Co. ( Here's a snippet:

"We have not yet decided what course to take as an organization.  Throughout the coming days our leadership will be  meeting with other TEA Party leaders to determine what should be done about these rogue legislators.  At this time, we're leaning toward focusing on those in leadership roles: the {Senate} majority leader (Richardsville), the chair (Marleau) and the sponsors (Marleau, Jones, Kahn, Jansen, and Gleason)."

    On a related note, someone is looking over their shoulder - from CapCon:

"A resolution has been introduced in Lansing that would strip voters of their rights to recall public officials for policy decisions.

The bill, Senate Joint Resolution S, states specifically, "The discretionary performance of a lawful act or of a prescribed duty by an elective officer does not constitute a reason to recall that elective officer." This would mean that lawmakers couldn't be recalled for political reasons.

The measure then lays out the reasons for which an elective official could be recalled. They would be limited to those guilty of felonies or a misdemeanor involving a breach of a public trust like those who have misappropriated resources or committed "any other official misconduct."

SJR S is sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, and co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe."

CapCon has a final summary of the Michigan Obamacare legislation. Excerpt:

"In the colorful words of House Appropriations Chair Chuck Moss, R-Birmingham, to MIRS News, "They'd rather be caught sacrificing to Satan than voting for Obamacare, so that's the way it is."

Here is an edited recap of the House/Senate “ping-pong” match on the appropriation bill, as described by

  • Passed 103 to 5 in the House on Oct. 19, 2011, to appropriate an extra $320.4 million for two items. The first is $119 million that is nearly all federal money to provide incentive payments to health care providers to adopt state-approved electronic health care record systems. The second appropriates the money from a new 1 percent tax on health insurance claims designed to “game” the federal Medicaid system to get higher federal payments to Michigan’s medical welfare system (which replaced an earlier tax on providers).
    (Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No")
  • Passed 28 to 8 in the Senate on Nov. 10, 2011, to enact a version of the bill with some new spending items added, including $9.8 million to create a state "Obamacare exchange." Total spending rose to $366.3 million. (Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No")
  • Passed 101 to 7 in the House on Dec. 13, 2011, to reject additional spending added by the Senate, including the “Obamacare” money. Total spending back down to $351.7 million. (Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No")
  • Passed 20 to 17 in the Senate on Dec. 14, 2011, to concur with the House, and not authorize spending $9.8 million for a state “Obamacare exchange.” (Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No")

Finally, “noncontroversial” is a relative term. Advocates of specific government spending items that were not included in the final bill will view those deletions as very controversial. Many doctors and other medical service providers view the pressure to adopt government-approved electronic health care record systems as highly intrusive and burdensome, notwithstanding possible taxpayer subsidies. Welfare-state opponents view new state taxes imposed for the sole purpose of extracting more Medicaid money from federal taxpayers as proof that the system is dysfunctional, if not corrupt."

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