Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kudos to Kowall, Marleau, Gregory

Two Oakland County Republicans were among the eight  who this week voted to expand  Medicaid in Michigan, ensuring its passage. It took some courage on their parts.

Sens. Mike Kowall of White Lake and Jim Marleau of Lake Orion voted for the measure. Two Oakland County Republicans, David Robertson of Grand Blanc, who represent parts of the north section of the county, and John Pappageorge of Troy were among the 18 Republicans opposing the expansion, which passed 20-18.

The county’s fifth senator,  Vincent Gregory of Southfield, was among the 12 Senate Democrats who unanimously voted in favor of the law.

Marleau and Kowall now face the possible wrath of Tea Party proponents who could threaten their political futures. Instead, voters should commend their independence.

Many Republicans wrongly cast the issue as a proxy for Obamacare. It needed to have been seen for what it is, which is an offer by the federal government to pay most of the cost for the medical care of 400,000-plus poor residents, thereby absorbing a cost now paid primarily by current health insurance ratepayers.

In 2007, interestingly, it was Pappageorge who took the bipartisan route as he joined fewer then a handful of Senate Republicans passing an income tax hike pushed by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the Democratic House.

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