The Michigan Senate has approved Bill 897 that would reduce the State’s budget by cutting the number of persons on Medicaid. The Senate vote was 26-11. Under the proposed legislation, Michigan residents aged 19 to 64 would be required to work 29 hours a week to be eligible for Medicaid.
Michigan will be the fourth state in the nation within the last year to impose Medicaid work requirements. Kentucky, Arkansas, and Indiana now require 20 hours a week. Michigan would be the first state to require 29 hours. The Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) has said “While MCC appreciates the inclusion of exemptions to protect the vulnerable, concerns remain with predicating one’s health coverage on his or her employment status.”
As Vincentians concerned about social justice, we share that concern and accordingly urge you to take action by clicking on this link to send a message to your State Representative asking that this bill be fundamentally changed before it becomes law.
The three key priority areas that the Michigan St. Vincent de Paul Society Voice of the Poor Committees suggest be changed are below:
1. Eliminate or reduce the 29 hours of work requirement
The reality for many of the working poor is that they do not have stable working hours. Having a requirement of 29 hours would be very difficult for those who have a job but are under-employed and not receiving as many hours as they would prefer. Employers would have the unfair power and burden to control who has the hours to receive medical coverage and who does not. Another difficulty is that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) would be required to enforce who is and is not working 29 hours a week.
2. Increase funding for DHHS
This proposed legislation creates unnecessary new constraints and bureaucratic hoops through which DDHS must jump in its attempt to help those in need without additional funding. DDHS is already an overworked unit of our government. The net practical effect is that DHHS will be able to serve less of our unfortunate Michigan friends in need because of this legislation.
3. Get more empirical data on how this will affect Michigan residents and hospitals
There has not yet been any direct experience with a Medicaid work requirement in any other state. Do we want to be the test subjects? Michigan does impose a work requirement for food stamps. But while there are many food pantries for families, there are less free resources for medical care. The practical impact of this could mean less people receiving preventative medicine and benefiting from regular doctor’s visits, and more people forced to the Emergency Rooms with attendant big bills that the serving hospitals will never recover. Thus, this legislation could also negatively impact our hospitals.
Please contact your Representative as soon as possible.
We’ll be continuing our three-week study on Hope: An Anchor in Today’s World,” written by Janet Schaeffler, OP., on Wednesday May 9th at 1:30 PM. Sr. Janet is the Director of Adult Faith Formation, for the Archdiocese of Detroit, and a regular contributor to the Michigan Catholic, so she might be familiar to you. (It’s not too late to join!) On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, from 1:30-3:00, we’ll be starting a three week study on “Barnabas: Man for Others,” by Fr. Jerome Kodell. If you’d like to participate in either of these studies, contact Peggy Casing or (248) 243-0251, at least one day prior to get materials to prepare.
Evangelization Events Coming to St. Mary of the Hills for the Rochester Hills Fireworks
During and after the Rochester Hills fireworks on June 27, St. Mary’s will be hosting two important events which touch the public and invite them to communion with Jesus.
The first is a booth at Borden Park, manned jointly with St. Paul Street Evangelization. Passersby can pick up medals, rosaries, information, and talk or pray with a booth volunteer. The booth is open from about 3 PM until dark.
The second is “Nightfever,” an open-church event which takes place after the fireworks. From about 10:30 to midnight, volunteers invite passersby into the church. The atmosphere in the church is one of beautiful music, prayer, and candlelight. The Blessed Sacrament is displayed, and the altar is decorated with the image of the Divine Mercy. Those who come in can light a candle, say a prayer, and talk to a priest if they would like. It can be a powerful experience.
You can help in three ways: Contact the parish office to volunteer for either of these events, pray for their success, and invite your friends and neighbors.
Click these links to find out more: http://streetevangelization.com/ and https://www.youtube.com/user/nfovideos.
Registration is now taking place for the 2018 Vacation Bible School – Shipwrecked – Rescued by Jesus. Register before May 25 to take advantage of our early bird rates (see Registration Form). Enrollment is limited to 125 students. Registration will be closed when enrollment is reached or by May 25. More Info
Please note: all teen and adult volunteer positions have been filled.
If you think that you’d like to participate in a book club that features books with a moral, or deeper meaning, especially if that book club meets for one, meaningful conversation about the entire book, we have the group for you!
Our next book is, With God in Russia: The Inspiring Classic Account of a Catholic Priest’s Twenty-three Years in Soviet Prisons and Labor Camps, by Walter J. Ciszek, S.J., and Daniel L. Flaherty, S.J. Join us on May 21, 2018, at 7:45 PM, for a discussion with a great group of readers! For more information contact Peggy Casing or (248) 243-0251
Martin Luther King, Jr. (www.trinitywallstreet.org/mlk)
- What were the ethical dimensions of Dr. King’s decision to recruit children to “Project Confrontation” in Birmingham, in light of the probability of violence?
- Who are the “white moderates” in churches today who must be “called out?”
- How has our “love of order” in churches made us bystanders in the past, or bystanders today?
- In what ways is the Letter from Birmingham Jail written to us today?
Registration for Preschool for Fall 2018 is now taking place. More information
Do you want your children involved in music at church? We have many options!
Jesus Jam (grades 6-9) Sing, or play an instrument with other students your age, preparing music to play for Mass on an occasional basis. Taught by Holy Family music teacher, John Garland, this group meets each Monday from 4 PM until 4:45 PM and welcomes any students in 6th grade or older who play an instrument or sing.
Handbells (Grades 7-up) Ring hand bells and challenge your musical skills with other students your age, and adults who like to ring. Directed by Mr. Bob Sheldrick, who has over 20 years of experience teaching youth handbells, this group rehearses each Tuesday from 7 PM – 8 PM.
Praise Kids (Grades K-2) and Children’s Choir (Grades 3-6) Praise, Sing, explore, and learn about music with certified music teachers, Mrs. Rosanne Thomas, and Mrs. Barb Sheldrick. Rehearsals are held each Monday from 5:30 PM – 6:20 PM and the students sing for Mass approximately once per month.