Booher named to Senate Healthy Michigan Workgroup

Sen. Darwin Booher was appointed on Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, to serve on a new workgroup that is tasked with studying and offering possible legislative options on reforming Medicaid in Michigan.

“As a member of the Healthy Michigan Workgroup, I will thoroughly review this issue and report to my colleagues about how to best address health care in Michigan,” said Booher, R-Evart. “The most important part of this process will be gathering feedback from the people. As I attend district events and meetings this summer, I hope to meet and talk to constituents about their ideas, and I welcome any calls or feedback.”

The workgroup will be headed up by Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw. Joining Booher and Kahn on the panel will be Sen. Bruce Caswell, R-Hillsdale; Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Lake Orion; Sen. John Pappageorge, R-Troy; and Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc.

“Contrary to recent claims, I am not on vacation simply because the Senate is not in session, just like the governor isn’t on vacation when he is attending events across Michigan or even out of the country in Israel,” Booher said. “I owe it to my constituents, my children and my grandchildren to do my due diligence before acting on any proposal with this great of a potential impact.” 

The governor, who first proposed the Medicaid expansion in February without any reforms, has since been working to promote a Medicaid reform and expansion plan approved by the state House in mid-June. 

“As a member of the budget subcommittee that handles health issues, I had more than 30 hours of meetings on the governor’s Medicaid expansion plan during the last months,” Booher said.  “The House approved a plan that contained reforms; however, having only five days to review it without even a committee hearing was insufficient. Whether we accept a health care reform proposal that uses state dollars or federal dollars, it’s all coming from the taxpayer. 

“A healthier Michigan is the goal, and I look forward to finding a solution to achieve that goal in a way that is responsible to Michigan taxpayers. It would be irresponsible to take quick action and not fully take into account the long-term effects that any changes would have on our residents and the state.”