Why does Mike Cox want to kill health reform?

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Michigan State Attorney General and GOP candidate for governor Mike Cox doesn’t want Michigan residents to have universal access to health care. That’s why he is joining with several other judicial activist Republican attorneys general to try to block President Obama’s just-passed healthcare overhaul.

Apparently acting on behalf of the insurance industry and putting his personal ambitions above the needs of the state, Mike Cox wants to block Michigan residents from important consumer protections that will go into effect this year. For example, prohibitions on denial of coverage to children with preexisting conditions will take effect this year. In addition, parents will be able to keep their children on their insurance policies until eh age of 26.

Cox doesn’t want Michigan residents to have a chance to choose the same sort of health care coverage members of Congress now get under the Federal Employee Health Benefits program. Best to leave those taxpayer-funded, government-run programs for the benefit of politicians, apparently.

Over the next couple of years, the President’s health reform law will also prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to people with chronic medical problems or charging them higher prices – a reform Mike Cox is trying to kill.

Mike Cox also seems anxious to overturn provisions in the law that would eliminate insurance company discrimination against women.

Cox’s action seeks to block provisions in the law that will make health insurance more affordable for working families. The new law will provide subsidies to poor and middle-class families to ensure they have access to health coverage.

President Obama’s health reform law also will provide subsidies for financially strapped small businesses so they can provide health benefits for themselves and their employees. Why would Mike Cox work so hard to block this?

Cox also seems to want to deny seniors new provisions in the health reform law that will close the so-called “doughnut hole” in prescription drug coverage.

Cox’s anti-health reform politics might play well with a loud and rude minority in his Party, but they do not reflect the majority views of the country or the people of Michigan. Cox seems anxious to associate himself with the Tea Party people who gathered at the Capitol last Sunday to hurl racist epithets at African American members of Congress (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/20/tea-party-protests-nier-f_n_507116.html) and have consistently attacked the President personally, and not just for his policies.

Michigan residents don’t want their Attorney General to waste their tax dollars on his personal agenda. They don’t want to be the state that stood in the way of historic legislation that launched the first steps toward universal health care.



Joel Wendland-Liu
Joel Wendland-Liu

Joel Wendland-Liu teaches courses on diversity, intercultural competence, migration, and civil rights at Grand Valley State University in West Michigan. He is the author of The Collectivity of Life: Spaces of Social Mobility and the Individualism Myth, and a former editor of Political Affairs.