MHA Race of the Week – Michigan Ballot Proposals

MI Vote Matters 2020

MI Vote Matters logoThe MHA Race of the Week series highlights the most pivotal statewide races and issues for Election 2020. The series is designed to provide hospitals and healthcare advocates with the resources they need to make informed decisions on Election Day.

Statewide Ballot Proposals:

Proposal 1 – Natural Resources Trust Fund Spending

If approved, this measure would amend the state Constitution to provide more flexibility in how revenue from oil, gas and mineral state-land lease royalties are allocated for environmental protection, the development and maintenance of parks, nature areas and public recreation facilities.

Proposal 2 – Electronic Communications Data Protections

If approved, this measure would add protections into the state Constitution to require a search warrant to access a person’s electronic data or electronic communications.

LEARN MORE

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a well-respected, independent, nonpartisan public policy research organization, currently has available on its website three excellent analyses of each statewide ballot proposal. Each analysis provides an in-depth look at how the proposals will impact Michigan residents, free of any support for one side or another.

WHY IT MATTERS

The MHA has not taken an official position on either of the measures that appear on the Nov. 3 ballot. However, statewide ballot proposals serve an important role in public policy by putting the power to approve or reject changes to Michigan’s Constitution or state law in the hands of voters. For that reason, the MHA encourages voters to learn more about each proposal to make informed decisions on Election Day.

REMEMBER

View both sides of the ballot before submission, as ballot proposals often appear on the back side of a ballot.

For more election information and updates or to request Election 2020 informational materials, visit the MHA Election webpage or email election@mha.org. Join the MHA in talking about Election 2020 on social media using #MIVoteMatters.

MHA Monday Report Oct. 19, 2020

MHA Monday Report logo

Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Oct. 12

The MHA is keeping members apprised of pandemic-related developments affecting Michigan hospitals through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. …


Legislature Works to Replace Executive Orders

The Michigan Legislature was busy during the week of Oct. 12, voting on several important issues that impact hospitals. Some of the most notable pieces of legislation included bills to provide limited immunity to businesses and health facilities for their work during the peak pandemic  …


MHA Provides Guidance on Hospital Bedside Voting

As the Nov. 3 election approaches, the MHA is reminding hospitals that voters may make an “emergency” request for an absentee ballot if he or she cannot attend the polls because of personal disablement …


Association Mourns Bill Jackson

Bill Jackson, who was senior vice president and chief financial officer at the MHA from 2013 until his recent retirement, passed away Oct. 10 following a year-long battle with cancer. The former CEO of Charlevoix Area Hospital …


Michigan Harvest Gathering Virtual Kickoff is Oct. 20

The 2020 Michigan Harvest Gathering will virtually kick off at 10 a.m. ET Oct. 20 through a Facebook Live event on the Food Bank Council of Michigan’s page. The 30-minute virtual event will include remarks by MHA CEO Brian Peters; Phillip Knight, PhD, executive …


Participate in Updating Michigan’s Health IT Roadmap

The Michigan Health Information Technology (IT) Commission and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services  have begun developing a Statewide Five-Year Health IT Roadmap, which will be a guide for future planning, investments and governance of health …

MHASC Board and HR Committee Address 2020-2021 MHA Action Plan Priorities

The MHA Service Corporation (MHASC) Board of Directors held a virtual strategic planning retreat Oct. 13 to assess and further develop programs and services to support key initiatives in the 2020-2021 MHA Action Plan. MHASC-specific goals outlined in the …


MHA Joins Public Health Officials in Urging Residents to Prevent COVID-19 and Flu

The MHA joined the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Association for Local Public Health at a press conference Oct. 13 to provide COVID-19 data updates and urge …


Michigan Birthing Hospitals Discuss Obstetric Hemorrhage and Severe Hypertension

The MHA Keystone Center and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched five interactive maternal health safety sessions from June through September 2020. The safety sessions were held virtually for birthing hospitals across various …


Celebrate Infection Preventionists During International Infection Prevention Week

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), established in 1986 by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, shines a light on infection prevention annually. This year, IIPW is celebrated Oct. 18 through 24. …


New Guide to Hospital Partnerships Available to MHA Members

MHA Endorsed Business Partner Juniper Advisory has released a book providing a start-to-finish look at what it takes to create a successful hospital partnership. The book, “A Healthcare Leader’s Guide to Successful Mergers & Acquisitions,” includes articles from Juniper …


The Keckley Report

What the K Recovery Means for Healthcare

“There’s growing evidence that the U.S. economic recovery will be a K recovery: a bi-directional response to the pandemic that will produce winners and losers. And the implication is profound in healthcare.”

Paul Keckley. Oct. 12, 2020


MHA Race of the Week – Michigan Supreme Court

The MHA Race of the Week series highlights the most pivotal statewide races for Election 2020. The series will provide hospitals and healthcare advocates with the resources they need to make informed decisions on Election Day, including candidates’ views and background.

MHA Race of the Week – Michigan Supreme Court

MI Vote Matters logo

The MHA Race of the Week series highlights the most pivotal statewide races for Election 2020. The series will provide hospitals and healthcare advocates with the resources they need to make informed decisions on Election Day, including candidates’ views and background.

MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT

This week’s MHA Race of the Week provides information on one of the most critical general election races: the Michigan Supreme Court. This judicial body is the cornerstone of Michigan’s legal system and is responsible for the general administrative supervision of all courts in the state. Every year, the Michigan Supreme Court reviews more than 2,000 cases, and its role in the application of law is crucial to Michigan residents. The decisions of these leaders often impact the community directly, as seen with recent rulings against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders related to COVID-19.

There are four candidates running for two terms during this year’s election: incumbent Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and Elizabeth Welch were nominated by the Democratic Party, and Mary Kelly and Judge Brock Swartzle were nominated by the Republican Party.

Chief Justice Bridget McCormack was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in November 2012 and became Chief Justice in January 2019. Prior to serving on the Supreme Court, she was a law professor and dean at the University of Michigan Law School. For more information, visit bridgetmarymccormack.com.

Elizabeth Welch has a 25-year legal career as an attorney serving individuals, nonprofits and small businesses specializing in employment law.  She previously served as vice president of the East Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education and president of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. For more information, visit welchforjustice.com.

Mary Kelly has served over 30 years as a prosecutor in St. Clair County, while also having experience in private practice as a general practitioner with emphasis on domestic matters, civil litigation and criminal matters. She also has previously served on the Mercy Hospital Finance Board. For more information, visit marykellyforjustice.com.

Judge Brock Swartzle was appointed to the state appeals court by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2017 and won election in 2018. Prior to that, Swartzle was chief of staff for the speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, as well as general counsel for the House, where he worked on numerous legal and policy issues, including the Detroit bankruptcy settlement package. For more information, visit brockforjustice.com.

WHY IT MATTERS

The Michigan Supreme Court may consider cases that have significant implications for medical liability laws that the healthcare community fought to have enacted in the 1990s. These laws established reasonable limitations on noneconomic damages, more specific criteria for expert witness testimony, and other common-sense measures that made liability insurance more affordable and significantly reduced frivolous lawsuits that were increasing healthcare costs and impeding doctors. The reforms allow scarce resources to be directed toward patient care and new staff recruitment rather than into the legal system. Erosion or elimination of these reforms would return Michigan to the medical liability crisis experienced in the 1990s, rather than allowing the state to move forward as a national center of excellence for healthcare.

CONCLUSION

The MHA typically favors a more conservative-leaning Michigan Supreme Court to support preserving medical liability reforms, since an unfriendly liability climate hinders hospitals’ ability to recruit and retain physicians, particularly in rural communities and urban centers and in certain specialties such as obstetrics/gynecology.

For more election information and updates or to request Election 2020 informational materials, visit the MHA Election webpage or email election@mha.org. Join the MHA in talking about Election 2020 on social media using #MIVoteMatters.

MHA Race of the Week – U.S. Senate

MI Vote Matters 2020

MI Vote Matters LogoThe MHA Race of the Week series highlights the most pivotal statewide races for Election 2020. The series will provide hospitals and healthcare advocates with the resources they need to make informed decisions on Election Day, including candidates’ views and background.

U.S. SENATE

This week’s MHA Race of the Week highlights the U.S. Senate race between Michigan’s Democratic incumbent Sen. Gary Peters and Republican John James. Like all states, Michigan is represented by two senators in the upper chamber of the U.S. Congress, which, along with the U.S. House of Representatives, serve as the nation’s legislative body. In addition to lawmaking duties, the Senate is responsible for the ratification of treaties and the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges and other executive officials, and ambassadors, among others. Michigan’s other Senate seat is held by Sen. Debbie Stabenow and is not up for election this year.

Peters was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014, following his service as an elected official in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Michigan Legislature and local-level politics. Peters won election for the seat vacated by the retirement of Democratic incumbent Carl Levin. During his time in Congress, Peters has supported a variety of healthcare issues, including voting for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives and, more recently, advocating for a variety of COVID-19 relief efforts through his role as Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Visit petersformichigan.com for more information.

James is currently president of the family-owned business James Group International. He is a graduate of West Point and served for eight years as a Ranger-qualified aviation officer in the U.S. Army. This is his second time running for elected office. He seeks to reform aspects of the ACA, while protecting people with pre-existing conditions. In 2018 James lost to Democratic incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow. For more information, visit johnjamesforsenate.com.

WHY IT MATTERS

Collectively, Congress is responsible for a number of lawmaking and budgetary decisions critical to Michigan’s healthcare community and residents. In addition to setting the course on federal funding that impacts Michigan’s Medicare and Medicaid populations, among other issues, Congress is responsible for making policy decisions that can vastly impact the delivery and access to healthcare in the state, as well as confirmation of Supreme Court nominees. Due to the major financial and policy decisions made in Washington, DC, Michigan relies on its federal officials to advocate and protect the needs of state residents, which is why electing healthcare champions to federal offices is so important.

CONCLUSION

The MHA and the American Hospital Association have been significant supporters of U.S. Sen. Gary Peters. He has proven to be a healthcare champion since 2008 when he first began serving in Congress and carried those values over to the Senate. The current Senator’s years of service to Michigan’s hospital community were recognized in summer 2020, when he received the MHA Special Recognition Award as a gesture of appreciation for protecting healthcare access for Michigan residents.

For more election information and updates or to request Election 2020 informational materials, visit the MHA Election webpage or email election@mha.org. Join the MHA in talking about Election 2020 on social media using #MIVoteMatters.