Michigan Education Association Opposes Obamacare

An amazing new development!  The MEA has apparently taken a stand on the efforts of the Obama administration with this quote:


Doug Pratt Of The MEA

“This is a massive expansion of government at a time when we can’t even get the budget balanced,” said MEA spokesman Doug Pratt. “These savings aren’t here and the taxpayers shouldn’t fall for it. Why would public school employees trust the health of their families to a state bureaucracy in Lansing?”

Oh.. right.. Lansing..  Of course they did not specifically mention Obama’s proposals, but lets not call them hypocrites, but rather roll out the red carpet, and welcome them to the fold, because SURELY massive expansions in the time of budget troubles are WRONG, and the MEA is reminding us of just that fact.

This of course is related to the health care issue anyhow, as one of our State leaders, Andy Dillon has proposed to change the way the state buys its workers health insurance to control costs.  The free press reports:

His idea: sweep public employees and retirees — about 400,000 city and county workers, teachers, police and firefighters, college professors, legislators and even the governor — into one statewide health insurance plan that he said eventually would save up to $900 million a year.

Dillon, a Redford Township Democrat, got a lukewarm response from Gov. Jennifer Granholm and his own Democratic caucus.

“It’s my hope this keeps people working,” he said.

Of course he sees the writing on the wall..  I must give him credit for understanding that post 2010, it is HIGHLY likely that any further budget shortages will result in MASSIVE cuts to the state of Michigan’s payroll (as it should be already) creating even fewer opportunities for protected class union transfers into government. Dillon might well be simply looking out for the quantity, not the quality..

But what the hey.. Kudos to Dillon for bringing out the spitting truth from the MEA, and congratulations to the MEA for discovering the courage to Declare Obama’s plans inappropriate under the circumstances!

H/T to Chetly Zarko of Outside Lansing

Update – And Speaking of massive increases in Bureaucracy..

And we ain’t seen nothing yet. House Republicans on the Joint Economic Committee sifted through their opponents’ 1,018-page health care bill and released a dizzying flow chart detailing the Byzantine bureaucracy Obamacare would create. Washington would become the home of at least 31 new federal programs, agencies, and commissions to oversee the government-run health insurance regime.

Bubububaby we just aint seen nuthin yet.. as the song goes..

34 comments for “Michigan Education Association Opposes Obamacare

  1. July 17, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Excellent news. I hope this builds up to a tidal wave and lets watch Nancy Pelosi float out to sea on her CANCELLED credit card!! 🙂

  2. July 17, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Let’s ask it another way “Why would families in the State of Michigan trust the education of their children to an obviously hypocritical public school employees’ Union?”

  3. Bill
    July 18, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Hey, wake up: Dillon used this to tojan horse his other announcement about tax hikes. Notice that none of you are talking about that at all? Mission accomplished. Stop being dupes 😉

    This proposal is going nowhere. Now: the tax increases (you know, the other stuff he mentioned)? A different story.

    You’ve been used. And rather easily.

    • jgillman
      July 18, 2009 at 9:46 am

      Kinda hard to take your beloved MEA being made to look the hypocrite? Used? nah.. good fodder which drives home the “if it ain’t in the best interest of the union leadership”

      The “value added” insurance the MEA controls is a CASH COW for the furthering of the MEA political agenda. The last thing they want is the loss of “their precious…” (yes.. think Smeegel)

  4. Bill
    July 18, 2009 at 10:02 am

    The hypocrisy is someone like you, Gillman, in favor of a government-run health care plan in Michigan. Really: irony, catch it.

    And when 400,000 people pooled together still buy’s great health insurance (much better than the private sector) you’ll still bitch. But it’s moot, because this is going nowhere.


    • jgillman
      July 18, 2009 at 10:16 am

      Actually, I didn’t claim any support, as there is no plan. My point in posting was to merely point out that even a union recognizes the need for government to STOP expanding in times such as these..

  5. Bill
    July 18, 2009 at 10:09 am

    And I will add that I’m not necessarily opposed to the idea (being the Obama advocate that I am). For one, if the proposal becomes a bill it will have to go through several checks that will allow ample input from labor groups. I suspect a final version of any bill (if it comes to that) will contain worker protections (God bless unions).

    Secondly, a massive pool like that can only be administered by a few top-quality insurance carriers. If you all have mom-and-pop folks you know trying to give quotes they’re REALLY going to be shut out cold in such a setup. Wouldn’t it be ironic if MESSA re-tooled and won a state bid for ALL public employess? Lol. I’ve witnessed many a small insurance carrier right now throwing up the white flag and not even bothering to submit bids. That will only get worse under this bill.

    But I’m willing to talk about this. Might work out just dandy–especially for those smaller, poorer districts (that actually might see their health benefits INCREASE under such a plan).

    Glad we’re all on board. See? We can all work together. Btw: Obama loves your support as well. Thanks.

    • jgillman
      July 18, 2009 at 10:25 am

      Boy, let a dog out of its cage and he runs all around hmm?

      Leon Drolet’s idea of bringing the benefit level of public workers to the avg in the private sector has my support at this point. IF there are smaller districts which can benefit from it SUPER!

      Leon does point out that folks such as you (Community college – Publicly paid) might have to add a word to your vocabulary… “Co-Pay.”

  6. Bill
    July 18, 2009 at 10:55 am

    We’ve had co-pay for years. Get with the program. And But I’m curious as to how you think this proposal is “smaller government?” It would create a giant bureaucracy to oversee health care. Me? I’ve made peace with Obama’s plan. I’m just curious when you did 😉

    On a side note, I know plenty of teachers who would welcome putting money back into pay raises instead of bartering off that for health care (as has been the case for years). Let’s get the health care taken care of and barter straight raises. Sorry, one way or the other teachers will continue to get what they rightly deserve. Now: that’s more than the bitchers and whiners like you think they should–but tough crap. Maybe you can become a teacher.

    • jgillman
      July 18, 2009 at 11:13 am

      Obamas plan? Made peace?

      I want government out of health care entirely. In fact, I want government out of public education ultimately. But as they say “wish in one hand, crap in another, see which fills first..” it is unlikely I will get what I want. The government has so badly screwed up the system already, the very threat of more government control has been seen in the declining number of health care professionals. It takes YEARS to fix those messes. If I could implement my wishes, folks like you would claim ineffective results.

      As for being a “Bitcher” or “Whiner,” it shows your debating skills must surely be on par with the level of education our public schools are providing in such places as Detroit or some community colleges… At some point in all of these exchanges, you rile yourself up, and absolutely MUST get a hyperbolic dig in..

      Use a little logic and actually READ my posts, and assume nothing unless you truly believe you can read minds. I will say when I support a project, and I will say when I decline to support a project. To assume the exclusion of one means the acceptance of the other gives public education a bad name.

  7. Bill
    July 18, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I also find it ironic that many years ago when I didn’t have a pot to pee in and was scraping by–so I went back to school, busted my ass, got an advanced degree, and become a better contributor to society. Ironically, when I did that, the pull-yourself-up-neo-cons started viewing me as a monetary parasite.

    It’s why I give a giant middle finger to your ilk. And always will.
    A. Big. Giant one.

    • jgillman
      July 18, 2009 at 11:15 am

      Showing once again the value of night school?

  8. July 18, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Mr. Bill,

    Your assumption that MESSA is not a government program fails to acknowledge who pays for it. Add to that the fact that it is run exclusively to benefit Union coffers without regard for the public purse and you can see why it’s a pernicious scam that should be eliminated. We can consider Mr. Dillon’s proposal a first step toward privatization.

  9. Bill
    July 18, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I’m not an employee of MESSA. I have sat on our school’s health care committee for years. We got MESSA back a few years ago when our administration and human resources presented us (faculty) with the plan (believe it or not). They solicited bids and shopped around when our premiums skyrocketed. They found MESSA to have the best deal. None of the faculty were happy at the time: MESSA was our 3rd carrier in three years, each change brought on by skyrocketing premiums and broken promises.

    This year we asked multiple carriers to give us quotes. A couple declined, one said they couldn’t match what MESSA was giving us and didn’t bother, a couple others gave quotes that were higher than MESSA. So we’re keeping MESSA for at least one more year–BUT our MESSA rates are 4 percent higher than what they would have been had PA 106 not passed. Thanks!

    Plan B? We’re now soliciting bids for coverage that is drastically lower than our current insurance with much higher co-pays. Why? Because that’s the only way to save money with insurance: foist cost and risk onto the backs of employees. Those of you on the outside spouting numbers about this and that plan being cheaper than MESSA with the SAME type of coverage are grossly misinformed or purposely spouting lies for political reasons. I know.

    None of that means I’m married to MESSA, nor is our college. It simply means that up to this point no one has offered a plan with the same coverage for a better price. That is indisputable at our institution. FOIA all you want. FOIA till the cows come home. Call our president. Call our comptroller. Call human resources. Then after you do that, lie and bullshit all you want like Kyle does.

    And Gillman: I stand by my earlier post. The hypocrisy deserves it.

    This is the “first step toward privitizing” things? Wow! Please! You all are so busy wanting to dance on the union’s carcass you’re willing to throw your “values” out the window to do it. Short-sighted on your part. But it’s what makes you, you.


  10. Smile
    July 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    The union wants to continue its influence on government but not be in a position to need government as much as its ‘chosen’ government needs the union. This is true whether the union is “using”, a hypocrite, looking out for its own interests…

    What with all the finger pointing and shrillness, Bill wins the slap fest and is crowned the Queen B’ of the boards. Enjoy.

  11. Bill
    July 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    And since you all are experts on what I do for a living and have it all figured out, please share with me what you do. Hell, I’m sure I know more about what you do than you do.

    Line up for my free advice. It’s just being kind and returning the favor.

    Go ahead: share.

    • jgillman
      July 18, 2009 at 3:48 pm

      You must have missed one of my earlier posts where I am “offering” as a contest win certain equipment from a certain site. I will let you search again, Scooby Doo, as I have now given you a clue.

      Feel free to then tell me about my business. I gladly accept criticisms on how to best manage my profit making. Sometimes even a pearl of wisdom can be found in the midst of a slimy mucous like goo. The neat thing, is that you AREN’T government so don’t hold a hammer over my head, and are not able to get between me and my employees during our negotiating for Pay and benefits, like the Obamacare plan might well do. From what has been presented, it is only downhill for them and they are quite aware of it.

      My arguments hardly include any commentary about WHAT you do, or HOW WELL you do it. They are simply that GOVERNMENT generally does not do IT so WELL. Health care, educating, banking, and now auto making. Government merely proves again and again that bigger is not ALWAYS better. Try not to let your feelings get hurt.

      As to “the same coverage..” You see.. THAT is the place that many cannot get off of. It was the place the UAW said they wouldn’t back down, and you are saying the same thing. You might have to face facts that the level of coverage you have now might well be a little sweeter than what is to come. (thus my reasoning for suggesting the vocabulary expansion with words like “co-pay” or “deductible”)

  12. July 18, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    I think this is the Bill that we all came to love in January when he defended the UAW golf course thing.

    Bill, you wouldn’t be a former Clinton-appointee, would you?

  13. July 18, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Maybe I confused you and got that wrong.

    • jgillman
      July 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm

      This is a regular.. Not a dummy, yet high strung and the mention of Kyle Olson sets him off. He is a supporter of the MEA sans conscience.

  14. Bill
    July 18, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    No, I never posted about the UAW golf course. And I’m still perplexed, Gillman, that if you think the government can’t go anything right why Dillon’s idea is a good one to you? As for coverage, “Cadillac” is a code word for the Right that translates at “won’t cause a person personal bankruptcy if said person has to use it.”

    That’s the “solution” for you: cut coverage and foist cost onto the backs of workers. Why? Because everyone else is miserable and at risk and you should be, too!


    The reason Kyle sets me off is I’ve caught him in lies and deliberate distortions.

    Aside from that, is anyone going to debate me about our school’s history with soliciting health bids? I mean, hell, I’ve sat on numerous committees with school officials and have done this for years. But I can always get some learnin’ from you people in cyber space who really know what’s going on. Again, though, please allow me to reciprocate for your line of work.

    I’ve added quite a bit of info in this thread. So far the only response I’ve gotten is Gillman wondering where I went to school and Chetly wondering if I support the UAW Golf Course.

    Come on: let’s talk about this. I didn’t bring it up. You did. I love debating people who half-ass everything and spout off talking-point lines.

    Your turn.

    • jgillman
      July 18, 2009 at 4:39 pm

      You said..

      That’s the “solution” for you: cut coverage and foist cost onto the backs of workers. Why? Because everyone else is miserable and at risk and you should be, too!

      If the people who pay the salaries of those workers cannot afford the level of coverage those workers have, why should they be asked to pay for it?

      You said..

      I’ve added quite a bit of info in this thread. So far the only response I’ve gotten is Gillman wondering where I went to school and Chetly wondering if I support the UAW Golf Course.

      Where did I ask where you went to school? … As to Chetly, he thought you might be a guy who once placed some comments here to help with damage control for the UAW Cheboygan County boondoggle.

      As to soliciting health bids.. why are you looking for debate there? That is a process which should be happening no matter what else might be in the works. The question put forward by Dillon as mentioned in this article was to pool it all for the cost savings benefits. My thesis, is that it can go one step further with a Drolet version of the plan, with a look at the level of coverage on a cost/benefit basis.

      Drolet feels it could save over $3 billion! For you, wouldn’t it be nice to have a little job security for state employees?

  15. Bill
    July 18, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    …and I’ve also stated I’m not necessarily opposed to Dillon’s plan. The devil will be in the details. He threw an idea out there, nothing more. As I believe government intervention is necessary on a national level in health care, I am personally not ruling out a government intervention on the state level. I just find it humorous that you all are pretzel-logic(ing) Dillon’s idea.

    The real ironic hilarity will be when the Mackinac Center comes out and endorses the idea.

  16. Bill
    July 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Obama feels government intervention will save money. Drolet feels government intervention will save money.

    I’m going to take a wild guess that you don’t believe BOTH 😉

    Again, you’re choosing sides and going against your very principles simply because you perceive one plan to be harmful to unions.

    • jgillman
      July 18, 2009 at 6:54 pm

      See.. this is where you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the situation is.

      The Obama plan straight out Mandates coverage, eliminates CHOICE if you are not currently covered, and creates a unfundable bureaucracy that MUST reduce the quality of care if there will be ANY at all. Here is the Kicker.. Obama’s plan affects ALL people.. not those who work for the government.

      Government employees work for the taxpayer.. yes.. or no?

  17. Bill
    July 20, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Except the taxpayers would be running this system. A centralized government bureaucracy would–taking local control away from taxpayers. Surely a pistol-toting guy like you (fellow gun owner here too), who has groused repeatedly about your local, small security business getting the shaft from Big Brother in Lansing wouldn’t be in favor of such nonsense? 😉

    Come, now.

    But your side is finally starting to wake up on this one and understand Dillon’s empty words on this subject were nothing but a mechanism to trojan-horse in other tax increases. I mean, I’m surprised it took you all about a week to start saying “hey, wait a minute…” but you are starting to slowly come around.

  18. Bill
    July 20, 2009 at 8:25 am

    …previous message first sentence should read “…WOULDN’T be running the system.”

    • jgillman
      July 20, 2009 at 8:41 am

      Correction noted.

      So moving on..
      I’m hardly a “pistol toting guy.” I am a 2nd Amendment supporter, but a reluctant gun owner beyond my hunting rifle.
      Then.. If the MEA were a locally organized group of local taxpaying, concerned citizens, you MIGHT have a point. They are not.
      Then there are the “empty words..” Dillon did the state a favor by bringing up the stinging hypocrisy of the MEA.. Plain and simple. Quoted: “a massive expansion of government at a time when we can’t even get the budget balanced.” Not MY words.. So whom might actually have the empty words? Or Is the MEA actually positing the OBAMA plan is BAD?

  19. Bill
    July 20, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I think the MEA was pointing out the irony of the Right supporting such a plan. Look: there’s irony on both sides of this, no? I don’t know where the MEA stands on Obama’s plan. Then again, I don’t wait for them to tell me how to think about the plan. I like it. I’m in favor. The overall good the union does for working families outweighs any area(s) where I might disagree with them. I’m sure you have similar feelings for the entities you support on your side of the fence.

    The “stinging hypocrisy” works both ways here, Gillman. Especially with you 😉

    • jgillman
      July 20, 2009 at 10:34 am

      Actually the MEA said NOTHING about or to the Right.. it was directed specifically at Dillons comments. The forked tongues at the MEA wants to have its cake and eat it too.

      The “entities” I support are the individuals whom see their rights squashed quite readily with the assistance of the compulsive union membership in a non right to work state such as Michigan. You keep trying to lump me in with all whom you oppose.

      You assume too much. I have been pretty clear on my stands to particular issues, the role of government, and the danger to our way of life with its unchecked growth.

      And finally.. Unions do NO GOOD for working families if they put them out of a job with an all or (and) nothing approach. They do no good if they foist unbearable government mandates on the very employers who are gracious enough to offer employment. They HARM our liberties by helping to elect Statists, Fascists, Marxists, or Socialists to all levels of government.

      You can pretend all you like that They have raised the middle class living standards through the years. You can cry foul to the manufacturers who might have been “oppressive subjugators of the proletariat,” and claim that without the unions we would all be slaves to the “elite” business class.. But you then forget who has really been in charge for the last 40 years in manufacturing, electing our leadership and the failures they have brought to the table, now mire the state in an “official” unemployment figure of 15.2% with a suspected real count at 25%.

      What you and others like you cannot fathom, is that individuals can do FAR BETTER if allowed to negotiate their own way. People thrive when left alone. They make successes and they make mistakes to be learned from. Each one they own by themselves. When GOVERNMENT plans, it is not often as successful as intended, in fact is nearly ALWAYS WRONG, yet their mistakes affect more than a mere individual.

      You words of my hypocrisy ring hollow. You haven’t a clue of what YOU are saying much less what I am. I truly hope you are merely an art teacher or something relatively non damaging to the rest of the upcoming minds of mush. God help us if you teach ANYTHING related to public policy.

      Don’t bother responding to this.. Consider it a last word on the subject, and save the whining about censorship and start your own blog..

  20. Bill
    July 20, 2009 at 9:12 am

    And I’m still waiting to see the “promised” tens and hundreds of millions in savings PA 106 was supposed to bring the state. It’s been two years. Where are the savings? PA 106 has COST the state money, not saved any.

    Where are the righty blogs and their updates about that? Man, you all were posting big-time about it two years ago. Well?

    • jgillman
      July 20, 2009 at 10:08 am

      Talking to the wrong guy on that..

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