Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Gretchen Whitmer, Where Are the Cures You Promised?

Cure Michigan Co-Chairs Joe Schwarz & Gretchen Whitmer

During the gubernatorial debate on Friday, October 12, Gretchen Whitmer brought up her role of leading "Cure Michigan" in the effort to pass Proposal 2 in 2008. Proposal 2 amended the Michigan Constitution to specifically allow destroying human life for medical research.

The debate moderator asked a question about recreational marijuana use, and Whitmer specifically mentioned her role with Cure Michigan as proof of her commitment to helping the sick and disabled.

She said, "I was the co-chair of the embryonic stem cell initiative as well, because I took care of my mom at the end of her life and I know what the promise of cures or the promise of relief during treatment would mean."

In a later rebuttal on the same topic, she said Michigan needs a governor "who knows how to get things done."

In reality, Proposal 2 didn't get anything done; Cure Michigan delivered zero cures. It's another prime example of how Whitmer's words don't match reality.

This issue should matter a lot. Whitmer is right in that the promise of cures or relief mean a lot to ailing patients. Sadly, Whitmer and Cure Michigan sold false hope to ailing patients and their family members. Patients deserve real hope and results, not rhetoric.

Supporters of Proposal 2 touted a ready-made study showing all of the benefits that could occur if Michigan voters agreed to pass the proposal. The study said Proposal 2 could save 770,000 lives, save Michigan $80 million in health care costs, increase worked productivity by $27 million, and create a biotech revolution in Michigan.

Cure Michigan ran TV ads with patients suffering from debilitating conditions pleading for voters to help unlock cures in Michigan.

Now that 10 years has passed, what actually got done? Nothing.

Human embryonic stem cell research hasn't led to a single cure or treatment anywhere. No lives were saved in Michigan and no economic benefits have been realized. Human embryonic stem cell research has largely been passed by other promising ethical fields of research. Those facts were fairly obvious back in 2008 to those who weren't significantly invested in research on human embryos.

Why would Whitmer tout her work leading a proposal that promised cures and delivered nothing? Does she not think people will do their homework on the issue? Has she not done her homework on it? Did she have to tout it since it was one of the few things she has actually accomplished? You be the judge.

The end result of her effort is not up for debate, however. Like much of the rest of Whitmer's political career, there were a lot of words and not a lot of results.