While at a local coffee shop this morning I came across a newspaper article on healthcare in Michigan that made me almost fall out of my chair. Believe it or not, one of our current state senators, and Republican gubernatorial candidate, has introduced legislation for healthcare reform in Michigan (SB 1242.1245). Senator Tom George M.D., from Texas Township states:
“It is no secret Michigan is struggling and health care in the United States is broken. These issues have been ongoing for years. This was an issue last year and it was an issue two weeks ago. Especially in light of recently passed federal legislation, Michigan needs to address our problems sooner rather than later.”
In a statement on his website and in a recent speech at CMU he explains that 30% of Michigan’s current budget is spent on Medicare and that it isn’t sustainable without change. He also says that we can’t wait until 2014 when many of the provisions of the recently passed federal legislation take effect.
George’s decision to introduce this legislation is absolutely amazing because not many Republicans are gutsy enough to back healthcare reform in our current political climate. He is also bucking the trend by working with a Democrat to co-sponsor the bill. (Rep. Marc Corriveau, Northville HB 6034-6037)
As a practicing physician, George clearly has some strong opinions about health care reform – this is not the first time that he has sponsored legislation on this topic.
Regardless of your opinion of the health care debate, you have to admire someone who sticks to his guns regardless of the political climate. In this case, it may be helpful that Mr. George is a physician. He’s taking a big gamble with this legislation so it’s a good thing that he has a career to fall back on. He may need it.