Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today criticized Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's decision to join a federal lawsuit that, if successful, would mean tens of thousands of Michigan residents would see massive tax increases and more expensive health care costs.
"For the life of me, I can't understand why Attorney General Bill Schuette wants to increase taxes and make it more difficult for Michigan residents to access affordable health insurance. It just defies logic," Congressman Kildee said. "If Bill Schuette's lawsuit is successful -- which I hope it is not -- my constituents stand to lose. Michiganders would see their taxes raised by thousands of dollars and also face drastically higher health care costs. The Attorney General is supposed to protect all Michigan consumers, not merely file lawsuits to score political points and pander to the Tea Party."
The lawsuit, Halbig v. Sebelius, has already been rejected by one court and could cost Michigan consumers, by one estimate, $2.5 billion in lost tax credits under the Affordable Care Act.
"It's my hope that Attorney General Bill Schuette drops this lawsuit and stops wasting taxpayer dollars and state resources on what would equate to a massive tax increase on Michigan families," Congressman Kildee said.
Of Michiganders who have purchased health insurance policies so far on the federal exchange, 86 percent of them have received health care credits to help them cover the costs. Attorney General Schuette's lawsuit, if successful, would eliminate these tax credits -- an average of $2,700, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation -- for thousands of Michigan families, including in Congressman Kildee's district.
"There are certainly lots of differing opinions about the Affordable Care Act. Like any law, it is not perfect, and I am open to looking at ways we can improve and strengthen the law. But so far, Republicans have proven with messaging lawsuits and gimmicks like Bill Schuette's that they are not serious about making the law work better for my constituents and the American people," Congressman Kildee said.
"Unfortunately, it's evident that Attorney General Bill Schuette and Republicans in Lansing seem more interested in pandering to their base rather than working to reduce the cost of health care for Michiganders," Congressman Kildee continued. "Michigan has already lost out on hundreds of millions of dollars due to inaction by Republicans in the State Legislature in delaying the expansion of Medicaid. Now, Attorney General Schuette's lawsuit would mean higher taxes for Michigan residents and more expensive health insurance options for my constituents, and that's wrong."