Mar 02 2014

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A Tax by Any Other Name is Still a Tax

“Excessive taxation…will carry reason and reflection to every man’s door, and particularly in the hour of election”  Jefferson letter to John Taylor — 1798


Normally as readers know as an author I am quite detailed however on occasion because of a time constraint it is more important to get the basic information of an alert out to activists. This was the case in the last post/Newsletter,  **BREAKING** HELP STOP THE NEW TAX!

However this post/Newsletter’s intent is to fill in the details, clear up any confusion and as a response to feedback (none favorable to a new tax).

First of all a brief reminder leading up to this issue:

  • June 2013 the House passed the Medicaid Expansion with immediate effect
  • August 2013 Senate passes the Medicaid Expansion. However due to a last ditch maneuver led by Sen. Patrick Colbeck to delay implementation it was without immediate effect

Therefore, the Expansion does not take effect until 90 days after sine & die (adjournment until the next session), basically April 1 of this year

One of the results of that 90-day delay was a $70 million shortfall in the FY2014 for the Department of Community Health (DCH). Because the DCH assumed savings based on PLACING adults who were receive state (tax payer)-funded mental health services, into Medicaid via the Expansion services funded with federal (taxpayer) dollars.

The emphasis on “placing” is important because the assumption by most people was that the Obama Care Exchanges allowed those signing up a CHOICE instead of bring PLACED in a plan after providing their personal information.

Medicaid as part oif totoal populationAnd while we are on the subject of the Expansion, prior to the bill passing Michigan’s Medicaid Enrollment was 18% of the total population (2012) and “Michigan’s Medicaid Enrollment Has Grown More Rapidly Over the Last Decade Than the National Average”

The only real “success” being touted by the Obama administration about the Exchanges is the number of people being “placed” into Medicaid.  However we know that: ObamaCare created a Medicaid time bomb

According to Kaiser Health News: “Michigan:  No enrollment numbers are available. The Michigan legislature approved Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed Medicaid expansion in September but postponed implementation until April 2014.”

So we will have to wait to know the damage to our pocket books.

However, apparently the DCH is now under funded to the point that sometime in late March or so the layoffs could begin.

The Senate in its Supplemental Appropriations bill SB 608 addressed the shortfall by taking the necessary money out of the General Fund, passed the bill and sent it to the House Appropriations Committee. …Senate Fiscal Agency…“In addition, there are $188.3 million of legislatively initiated GF/GP appropriations for various departments, but these do include $114.5 million in the Department of Community Health to offset the shortfall in Health Insurance Claims Assessment revenue.”

This is where this problem begins.

Actually the real problem began when the Obama Care Medicaid Expansion bill was passed but that being said, the House Appropriations Committee removed the Senate Supplemental appropriation from the General Fund.

The Committee on Appropriations, by Rep. Haveman, Chair, reported

Senate Bill No. 608, entitled

With the recommendation that the substitute (H-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass. The bill and substitute were referred to the order of Second Reading of Bills.

Favorable Roll Call

To Report Out: Yeas: Reps. Haveman, Pscholka, Kowall, Lori, Rogers, Stamas, Walsh, Bumstead, Forlini, MacGregor, Jenkins, Muxlow, Poleski, Potvin, McCready, VerHeulen, Shirkey and Olumba

 Nays: Reps. MacMaster, Tlaib, Brown, Durhal, Dillon, Roberts, Kandrevas, Faris, Zemke and Singh

“Reported with recommendation with substitute H-1″  House Journal (The H-1 language has not been loaded to the web site as of this writing)

But why? 

As reported by MIRS February 26, 2014  

House Approps Overhauls Supplemental; Conference Awaits?

With $215 million for roads and a placeholder instead of a fix for the Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA) shortfall, the House put its stamp today on the supplemental spending bill….

This afternoon, the House Appropriations Committee approved a new version of SB 0608….

…The House’s language leaves out $114 million meant to close the ongoing Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA) shortfall in the budget. Instead, the Appropriations Committee decided to add a $100 placeholder (insert a number later) into the supplemental on HICA…

The full House could take up the bill as early as (this) Thursday…

…Instead of simply patching the hole in the budget with other dollars, House Republican leadership has proposed a wide-ranging auto insurance reform proposal that members believe offers a long-term fix on the HICA shortfall by charging $25 per auto insurance policy…

…Rep. Mike SHIRKEY(R-Clarklake) was among the lawmakers that supported the $100 placeholder today.

There are a number of ideas that are being floated … that we think are very worthy of being evaluated, but quite frankly, we are pressed for a little bit of time,” Shirkey explained. “We’re putting this placeholder in to assert our interest in having those conversations, post approval of this supplemental.”

From The Detroit News:

“There are additional differences with the Senate’s proposal:

Dropped from the list of line items in the House version would be $114 million for the Medicaid health care program for the poor to cover a shortfall in the state’s matching funds for federal money. House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, wants to cover the shortfall with revenue from a $25-per-vehicle auto insurance fee proposed as part of his *no-fault reform package. Bolger unveiled the package last week to strong criticism from key interest groups.

*The package or bill is not on the Michigan Legislature site yet as it is in all probability still a “blue back”. A term used when a bill as been printed but not enrolled yet. Usually the blue back is used to gauge support and convince others to be co-sponsors…

However by adding the $25 tax as a method to cover the shortfall, Speaker Bolger could use that to entice the GOP House Reps who voted for the Medicaid Expansion to get on board with his no fault plan that apparently is on his big want list.

No New Taxes

To Stop the Spending, Stop the Source

Rep. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, noted “several” ideas are being considered to generate the matching funds, needed to ensure the state gets about $400 million in federal Medicaid funds. The amount already is included in the current-year state budget.


verb (used with object), gen·er·at·ed, gen·er·at·ing.

1. to bring into existence; cause to be; produce.


Rep. Brandon Dillon accused the committee’s GOP majority of playing games with the budget to gain leverage for Bolger’s no-fault plan

“The bottom line is this budget isn’t balanced this year,” Dillion said.

Referring to the auto insurance proposal, he continued, “We have an opportunity to balance the budget and fix a problem, but we’re not doing that because we want to use an issue for leverage on another issue. We all know what’s going on.”…

Yes we do Rep. Dillion

The Senate already provided the needs shortfall via the GF. The House removed it and now needs to “generate” the money, hence $100 placeholder

Lets just say it’s not via the  $25-per-vehicle auto insurance tax, what politician wants to vote for a tax in an election year.?

And yes a tax by any other name (fee) is still a revenue generator aka a tax

The revenue needs to be “generated” will have to be “generated” somewhere.

So I wonder Rep. Mike Shirkey,  since you voted to leave out $114 million meant to close the ongoing Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA) shortfall in the budget from the Senate and to add a $100 placeholder, care to share what those other now needed “revenue generating” ideas are?


Permanent link to this article: http://grassrootsmichigan.com/?p=4106


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  1. wendell welper

    to whom do I email? am in48178

    1. Joan


      Here is a link to the information by address & zip code. http://house.michigan.gov/mhrpublic/
      Calling is really best if possible


  2. Darlene Littlejohn

    Thank you, Joan, for explaining this!

    1. Joan

      Your welcome Darlene

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