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Fri November 11, 2011
Tea Party activists get fired up over Michigan health care exchange bill
The Michigan State Senate followed Governor Snyder's desire and passed a bill that, if adopted, would set up a statewide health care exchange. And the Tea Party is none too happy about the vote.
If state officials don't set up a statewide exchange by 2014, the state would have to enter a health care exchange system set up by the federal government.
The exchange, as political writer Susan Demas says, is like Travelocity for health care packages.
Demas wrote a piece on MLive about the Tea Party's reaction to the vote. She wrote that the activists warned Republicans "that there would be consequences for voting 'yes,'" and they accused Governor Snyder of trying to cozy up to the Obama administration.
Demas highlighted complaints from Scott Hagerstrom, the head of the free-market Americans for Prosperity of Michigan:
Hagerstrom called the passage of the health care exchange a "bribe" to get more federal dollars.
"What they've done is basically declared war on the Tea Party and Tea Party activists," he declared. Joan Fabiano, a Tea Party activist from Holt who lobbied the Legislature against the health care exchange, also fired off a scathing statement against the Senate's action.
She called it "a [sic] unnecessary set back [sic] in the freedom of Michigan citizens. . . . The hurried manner in which the bill was amended, passed through Committee and scheduled for a vote is an affront to every citizen of Michigan who was disenfranchised from having his or her vote heard. Voters will not forget this affront."
Senator Bruce Caswell (R-Hillsdale) might be on the Tea Party's list.
As Rick Pluta reported yesterday, Caswell was one of the Republicans arguing in favor of the exchange:
“I do not support putting this state in the position of having the federal government come in and basically take over regulation of health care,” said Caswell.