Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
Rep. Scott Hummel
Isn’t it infuriating how it seems like your insurance company – if, indeed, you are lucky enough to be insured at all – seems to have more say over your health care than you or your doctors?
Well, if Rep. Scott Hummel (R-DeWitt) has his way, things are going to get worse instead of better in Michigan.
Last month the House passed a bill, introduced by Hummel, that gives insurers the green light to deny coverage based on ethical, moral or religious objections. All they’ve got to do is write their prejudices in their mission statements or articles of incorporation and – voila – if a drug or procedure hurts their religious feelings, they can tell you to go blow.
You may remember that in 2004 a bill was introduced that would have let physicians and other medical workers deny treatment on an individual basis based on moral beliefs. Thankfully, that bill, which is opposed by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, hasn’t really moved forward.
But LGBT folks have plenty to worry about with this new bill, too. An insurance company which deemed them morally objectionable could refuse a lesbian couple seeking fertility treatment, a transgender individual needing hormones or a gay man with HIV.
The target of this legislation, however, is reproductive health services – specifically, birth control and abortion. Currently there’s an effort in Michigan to mandate that insurers, who have no problem covering Viagra, cover birth control too. This is supported by Gov. Granholm, and adamantly opposed by right-wingers like Brad Snavely of the Michigan Family Forum. In an April 27 MFF email Snavely said, “Access to birth control is not a civil right. More troubling, however, is the idea that the state would be mandating that a company facilitate sexual activity, much of which is occurring between unmarried couples and minors.”
Not surprisingly, the so-called Family Forum is also rabidly anti-gay. Like I have said, the right wing is anti-sex, gay and straight, and now they’re coming after your brother and his girlfriend.
Hummel’s insurance bill also, bizarrely, targets health procedures that haven’t even been invented yet, just in case they offend the moral sensibilities of insurance providers, famous worldwide for being the most morally sensitive institutions ever known.
According to an April 26 statement, Hummel said that “scientific advancements are currently moving at lightening speed and we must recognize the need to pre-empt the problems potential future mandates may bring.”
In other words, this bill, in large part, is a solution in search of a problem. Reminds me of a certain anti-gay marriage amendment, also supported by Hummel, that was supposed to save marriage from an attack that wasn’t really happening. And hey – that reminds me of another Republican preemptive “solution” that is currently going really well in Iraq.
Thankfully this state and this country aren’t facing any real, tangible problems, so “what if” legislation really is the best use of our elected officials’ time and energy.
Suggest your own “what if” legislation to Hummel by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 517-373-1778.