GregS Posted September 24, 2013 Report Share Posted September 24, 2013 (edited) I've found another windmill to tilt at. It concerns the $279M to $369M the state receives in the tobacco settlement and puts to purposes other than to treat people who have been harmed by tobacco and for smoking cessation programs. Instead, it is largely given to HS students in up to $2000 increments toward their college careers (screw you Gov. Engler). Gov. Granholm hit the wall trying to right this wrong, and in the end simply added fuel to the fire in increased spending toward the scholarship program. Several million is given to LEO, ostensibly for tobacco tax enforcement. It has been given away to Pfizer to retrain laid off workers and used for high-profile commercial development and travel and tourism. Otherwise it has been put in the State general fund and used for other purposes. Fer crissake, $537M was given to tobacco farmers in the general settlement. Only a small percentage goes toward tobacco related public health programs. I am living in a circumstance wherein my wife is eligible for medicaid, but only after our having paid the immense monthly spend down (read deductible), which would leave us less than peanuts to live on, but for the fact that I have lots of medical providers unhappy that they are not paid in full, some of whom refuse to continue to treat her. She was injured by tobacco, has been seriously sick for the past eleven years, and I can't begin to even guess how many other Michigan residents have suffered at the hands of big tobacco and are now getting shafted by the industry and the State of Michigan. I will be putting my energy into that, and will work and have begun to work with elected officers. Wish me luck. I remember college. If $2000 didn't go far enough in 1972, today it can't possibly amount to much more than beer money. That is where about 75% of those funds reportedly go. While it might make legislators feel warm and fuzzy and buy votes from parents of those students, TAKING THAT MONEY AWAY FROM SICK AND DYING PEOPLE IS DISGUSTING, and not a worthwhile trade off. The issue was taken up here in Michigan while I was living and working out of state. Subsequently I was not in on the conversation. I guess I'm asking that you consider the issue and call and/or write to the people in Lansing. There are certainly folks here who have been injured by tobacco and need relief. If memory serves, tpain recently stated that his tobacco use is a real problem. There is little enough relief under the Obamacare medicaid expansion in this regard. As much as I appreciate that many formerly uninsured people will be covered, the medicaid rules have not changed, and to expect anyone to live on something less than 30% of a Social Security benefit is absurd. Sourcing information and contacting and working with the right people has been playing on my agenda. Forgive me if I am unable to put much effort toward cannabis at this time, but the issue is a real priority. We too often go without necessary medical treatment and other necessary items in our own support. You can better bet there will be sparks, and I will never, ever, pull the lever to vote for a repulitard. Edited September 24, 2013 by GregS Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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