Schuette Can’t Run from His Record on Healthcare

Over the last several weeks, Bill Schuette and his allies have started panicking as they realize Schuette’s all-out opposition to affordable healthcare for Michiganders isn’t a popular platform from which to run for governor.

On August 15, he gave a rambling response that did not answer the question about whether he supported the Healthy Michigan plan, but did say “you ought to cover pre-existing conditions.”

Schuette must stop lying about his enthusiastic support for and participation in Republican efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which would take healthcare away from 680,000 Michiganders benefiting from Healthy Michigan, eliminate coverage protections for the 4 million Michiganders who have preexisting conditions, deprive Michigan families who buy insurance on the federal exchange of up to $2,700 in tax credits, and threaten affordable healthcare for everyone in Michigan.

“Schuette is lying,” said Joshua Pugh, For Our Future’s Michigan Communications Director. “Over his 40 year career in politics, he has consistently supported handouts for corporations and the wealthy rather than standing up for working Michiganders. Schuette needs to come clean on his opposition to affordable healthcare for Michigan families.”

Schuette has repeatedly stated his opposition to the Affordable Care Act

  1. Schuette Launched His Campaign For Governor By Doubling Down On His Unconditional Opposition To The Affordable Care Act. According to the Detroit Free Press, “Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette officially joined the Republican race for Michigan governor Tuesday night, promising that if elected he would cut state income taxes, push Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and bring the state more and better-paying jobs.” [Detroit Free Press, 9/12/17]
  2. Schuette Has Built His Campaign Around Opposition To Medicaid Expansion, Which Has Provided Affordable Healthcare to 680,000 Michiganders. According to the Detroit Free Press, “More than 100 low-income voters gathered outside Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office in Detroit on Thursday afternoon to protest his opposition to Michigan’s Medicaid expansion, which has become a cornerstone of his gubernatorial campaign.” [Detroit Free Press, 5/31/2018]
  3. Schuette’s Opposition To Healthy Michigan Predates His Campaign For Governor. According to Michigan Capitol Confidential, “‘(Attorney General) Bill Schuette has consistently opposed the expansion of Medicaid,’ said Joy Yearout, a spokesperson for Attorney General Schuette.” [Michigan Capitol Confidential, 7/18/13]
  4. Spokesperson Declared Schuette Supports ‘Reforms’ And ‘Choices’ Instead Of ‘Mandates,’ Didn’t Mention Pre-existing Condition Coverage Mandate. “‘Attorney General Bill Schuette has been a consistent advocate for important health care reforms, including raising the age of dependency coverage from 21 to 26 years of age and permitting the portability of health care insurance across state lines,’ Yearout said. ‘Schuette also strongly supports private sector choices for health insurance instead of one-size-fits-all government mandates.’” [Michigan Capitol Confidential, 7/18/13]
  5. Schuette’s Campaign Sent A Letter To Voters Claiming “I Opposed Obamacare, Including The “Free” Federal Medicaid Dollars From Obama That Leave Michigan Taxpayers On The Hook For More! Now I need your help to stop Obamacare once and for all!” [Twitter — @singhsam94, 8/27/18]

Schuette has gone to court repeatedly in failed attempts to undermine affordable healthcare for Michiganders

  1. In Hopes To Win A Constitutional Argument Against Obamacare, Schuette Joined A Federal Lawsuit Arguing That Health Insurance Tax Credits Should Be Denied To Michigan Residents. According to the Port Huron Times Herald, “Bill Schuette has a reason for trying to prevent some Michigan residents from receiving tax credits for federal health care insurance. But it isn’t likely to comfort the victims of his efforts. There is no love lost from Schuette for the Affordable Care Act. The state attorney general is a longstanding opponent. Michigan decided not to create its own health-care exchange under the Affordable Care Act and to rely instead on the federal exchange. So Schuette joined a federal lawsuit in February that argues tax credits — about a $2,700 savings on health care costs — should be denied to Michigan residents. Since Michigan and 33 other states don’t have their own exchanges, the suit argues, they are exempt from the ‘benefits and burdens.’ Schuette hopes to win a constitutional argument against Obamacare with Michigan residents serving as the fodder.” [Port Huron Times Herald, 4/1/14]
  2. Schuette Argued That An IRS Rule Offering Tax Credits To Individuals Buying Health Insurance On The Federal Exchange From States Without Their Own Exchanges Violated The Constitution. According to MLive, “Michigan residents who are buying insurance through the federal exchange could be in danger of losing tax credits reducing the cost of those policies if a federal appeals court agrees with opponents of the credits, including the state’s top lawyer. Attorney General Bill Schuette is arguing an IRS rule offering tax credits to individuals buying health insurance on the federal exchange from states without their own exchanges violates the U.S. Constitution. The argument was made in a ‘friend of the court’ brief filed in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where individuals and businesses from states without insurance exchanges are challenging the ability of the IRS to offer tax credits for buying insurance through the federally established exchange. Schuette and the attorneys general for Kansas and Nebraska argue that allowing the IRS to offer the credits overrules the decisions not to set up exchanges under the Affordable Care Act that 34 states made and is invalid under the Tenth Amendment. ‘[T]he plain text of the ACA manifests Congress’ clear intent to induce states to establish state exchanges. It deliberately limited premium assistance tax credits to state exchanges to achieve this goal. Now the IRS seeks to change the plain terms of the ‘contract’ Congress offered the states,’ the brief argues.” [MLive, 2/22/14]
  3. Schuette Joined A Federal Lawsuit Seeking To “Free Michigan Businesses From A Mandate To Provide Coverage To Their Employees” Which, If Successful, Would Have Cost Michigan Consumers Millions Of Dollars In Health Coverage Tax Credits. According to the Detroit Free Press, “Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has joined a federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C. that, if successful, could cost Michigan consumers millions of dollars in health coverage tax credits. It also could gut federal health overhauls, according to some. But it also would free Michigan businesses from a mandate to provide coverage to their employees, according to the brief filed by Schuette on Feb. 6 in support of a lawsuit known as Halbig v. Sebelius. Schuette has been a vocal opponent of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. ‘The Obama Administration is wreaking havoc on citizens, job-providers and states by abusing executive authority to implement a poorly written law,’ his spokeswoman, Joy Yearout, said in a written statement. ‘Attorney General Schuette will fight at every turn to rein in this unrestrained expansion of federal authority.’ At issue are tax credits that consumers have received or will receive when they purchase insurance on the Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace, or state exchange. According to federal data, 86% of Michiganders purchasing policies so far on the exchange have received credits to help them cover the costs. It’s a big selling point to those trying to encourage enrollment. ‘Taking away the financial assistance? Bottom line — that puts out of reach for a lot of people that quality affordable health care,’ said Erin Knott, director of Enroll Michigan, part of a national campaign.” [Detroit Free Press, 2/21/14]

Schuette has done nothing to stand up to Trump’s efforts to make healthcare more expensive

  1. Schuette Won’t Join Suit To Stop Trump From Ending Subsidies To Health Insurers… According to Michigan Radio, “Michigan’s Attorney General will not be joining some of his fellow state attorneys general in challenging President Trump’s decision to end Obamacare subsidies. […] The subsidies help lower premiums, copays and deductibles for people with low incomes. Stopping the payments would trigger a spike in premiums for next year, unless Trump reverses course or Congress authorizes the money. A coalition of state attorneys general will try to block President Trump from stopping billions of dollars in ‘Obamacare’ subsidies for consumers. When asked today if he would sign on to the suit, Michigan Attorney Bill Schuette said ‘no.’ ‘Absolutely not. The president is doing the right thing,’ Schuette says.” [Michigan Radio, 10/13/2017]
  2. Even Though This Action Will Drive Up Costs For Michigan’s Middle Class. According to National Public Radio, “President Trump’s decision Thursday to end subsidy payments to health insurance companies is expected to raise premiums for middle-class families and cost the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars. The administration said it would stop reimbursing insurers for discounts on co-payments and deductibles that they are required by law to offer to low-income consumers. The reimbursements are known as cost-sharing reduction payments, or CSRs. Insurance companies still have to give the discounts to low-income customers. So if the government doesn’t reimburse the insurers, they’ll make up the money by charging higher premiums for coverage. […] ‘We now know what Trumpcare looks like, and it’s pretty ugly,’ said Ezekiel Emanuel,an oncologist who chairs the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. ‘The people who are particularly going to hurt are the people who don’t get any subsidies. They just have to buy their own insurance,’ Emanuel, one of the architects of the ACA, told Morning Edition on Friday. Ironically, the decision to end the $7 billion-a-year cost-sharing payments is likely to cost the federal government more than making them — nearly $200 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.” [National Public Radio, 10/13/2017]

Now Michiganders are fighting back against Schuette’s crusade to take away our healthcare

  1. Working Michiganders Are Standing Up And Fighting Schuette’s Out Of Touch Agenda Opposing Affordable Healthcare. According to the Detroit Free Press, “More than 100 low-income voters gathered outside Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office in Detroit on Thursday afternoon to protest his opposition to Michigan’s Medicaid expansion… Most of the protesters who spoke Thursday said they have chronic diseases, or their children do, and they rely on Medicaid to pay for medication. Allen, who has been fighting for low-wage worker rights for 12 years, said she just got eye surgery and has Crohn’s disease. Her Crohn’s medicine costs $600 a month. Most of the protesters are low-wage workers. Some of those are part-time employees, but not by choice. ‘I’m six months pregnant,’ AMC Theatre worker Jessica Bowie said. ‘I work less than 30 hours a week so they (AMC) don’t have to pay me healthcare.’ The protesters marched around the office building holding signs reading ‘Bill Schuette: Healthcare Killer’ and ‘Schuette: Hands Off My Healthcare.’ The workers then gathered around the front of the building to make speeches and participate in the die-in. ‘Our goal today is to tell Bill Schuette that it’s not just about his pockets, it’s about the people,’ McDonald’s worker Alexis Wright said.” [Detroit Free Press, 5/31/2018]

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