CONGRESSMAN JOHN MOOLENAAR spoke at SRCC’s Topics@Twelve in Corunna on Tuesday, May 30. The majority of the public conversation, was oriented toward Medicaid, healthcare, and assisted living concerns.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
The SRCC’s (Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce) Topics@Twelve agenda for Tuesday, May 30 was focused on guest speaker, Congressman John Moolenaar. The well-attended event was held at the Corunna Community Center in McCurdy Park.
Congressman Moolenaar is currently on the House Committee on Appropriations, and also on three subcommittee’s, including the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, and a Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch.
“The House has passed a bill where we make sure that essential Medicaid services are covered, and even expanded Medicaid services, like in the case of Michigan, will be able to continue for people who are currently on it,” Moolenaar explained, after he had opened the floor to questions. He stated when he had first entered office in 2002, one in nine Michigan residents was on Medicaid. That number, according to Moolenaar, is now one in four. He expressed his philosophy that in order to go forward, the state needs to “prioritize to make sure that Medicaid is really there for those who need it.”
Tom Manke, of Owosso Township, questioned Moolenaar about his concern related to healthcare, and how Millennials (Generation X and Y) are going to hold the burden of caring for retired or retiring Baby Boomers.
“This is where it’s going to take the President and Congress cooperating to make reforms,” Moolenaar answered, referencing healthcare. “When it comes to the next generation, if we don’t reform some of these programs, they won’t be there. We want a healthcare system that is sustainable.”
Regarding President Trump’s budget proposal, Moolenaar called it a “starting point.” He shared that there is “a lot of work to be done.” He briefly touched upon Michigan’s aging infrastructure, especially concerning the Soo Locks in Sault Ste Marie, and the iron ore shipping industry, which affects the entire country.
Kim Bowen, owner of Welcome Home Assisted Living, approached Moolenaar with the issue that elderly “patients are outliving their money.” She inquired about the future of elderly care services.
“Most people would, whenever possible, prefer to stay in their own home, and that’s how I would feel,” Moolenaar shared. “I think there are very good models for that. We need to make sure that there are different choices, options, and flexibility to meet these community needs … It’s important that states have the flexibility to innovate.”
Thomas Ford, of Owosso, was the only protester standing outside the event. He was representing a strong, personal stance that he later expressed by sharing “…all of our voices need to be heard. Repeal or replace Trump, Moolenaar, and their Republican enablers.”
Topics@Twelve was sponsored by Heidi O’Dea/Raymond James, with Andrews Hooper Pavlik PLC acting as the presenting sponsor for Moolenaar. The next Topics@Twelve will be Tuesday, June 27.