Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber Bogins
A message from Rod Alberts, Executive Director, North American International Auto Show
The Detroit Chapter 9 bankruptcy has been anticipated for some time and will have no impact on the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The bankruptcy filing was a good decision, given the state of affairs of the city over the past decade, and will give Detroit an opportunity to move forward by relieving the city of a legacy of liabilities - giving it a fresh start. That was the sole purpose. The direction by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was the right one, and will help Detroit turn the corner. Although surprising to many, it was a bold and positive move.
Cobo Center is independent of the city and is managed and operated by a regional authority, so no funding from the city is needed for Cobo. The NAIAS is also an independent organization and will not be impacted in our operation or funding, although we do work with all the city municipalities in the region, including the City of Detroit, and will continue to do so.
An interesting aspect of this, too, is the fact that we are soon to complete the third and final stage of the $300 million renovation of Cobo this coming year. Again, this is because Cobo Center is managed by a regional authority and is funded accordingly with regional and state funds.
The city bankruptcy will have no effect on the show's ability to provide the venue that the world automakers have come to expect, and the event that each year brings more than $350 million in economic impact to the Southeastern Michigan region.
We will continue, as planned, to work side-by-side with international auto manufacturers, which continue to rely on Detroit's stage to make their worldwide product introductions.
Last Updated on Monday, 22 July 2013 11:17
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and emergency manager Kevyn Orr are scheduled to speak at a joint press conference at 10 a.m. Friday in Detroit to discuss the filing.
Snyder said bankruptcy is the only way for the city to emerge from its crippling $18 billion debt.
“The simple fact is Detroit is in a financial crisis. The city is insolvent and has been borrowing money to pay its bills for nearly a decade. Bankruptcy is the only feasible option to fix the city’s financeshttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/lb_icon1.png" > and do what is right for the 700,000 people of Detroit,” Snyder said.
Watch the press conference LIVE:
Last Updated on Friday, 19 July 2013 08:59
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by RJ Barnhill
Gov. Rick Snyder today authorized Detroit's emergency manager to seek federal bankruptcy protection for the city, saying it was the only viable option to provide the 700,000 people of Detroit with the public services they need and to restore the city.
"The fiscal realities confronting Detroit have been ignored for too long. I'm making this tough decision so the people of Detroit will have the basic services they deserve and so we can start to put Detroit on a solid financial footing that will allow it to grow and prosper in the future," the governor said. "This is a difficult step, but the only viable option to address a problem that has been six decades in the making."
Snyder's decision allowed Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to make a filing under Chapter 9 of the federal bankruptcy law. Orr filed for Chapter 9 protection today shortly after receiving authorization from the governor. Chapter 9 protects financially distressed municipalities from creditors while their debts are resolved under the direction of a bankruptcy judge.
Detroit has more than $18 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities and doesn't have the revenues to meet those obligations and provide an adequate level of services to its people, who pay the highest taxes per capita in Michigan. The city's debt level is unsustainable. Currently, 38 cents of every city dollar goes toward debt repayment, legacy costs and other obligations. By 2017 that figure is expected to reach 65 cents per dollar.
"The simple fact is Detroit is in a financial crisis. The city is insolvent and has been borrowing money to pay its bills for nearly a decade. Bankruptcy is the only feasible option to fix the city's finances and do what is right for the 700,000 people of Detroit," Snyder said.
The governor noted Orr's restructuring plan for the city calls for investing $1.25 billion over 10 years in core services, primarily police and fire protection, trash pickup and street lighting.
"Fixing the city's finances will allow for investments in key areas that will improve the quality of life for Detroiters and encourage growth and investment in the city," Snyder said.
"We want to create an environment that attracts more families, young professionals and job providers to Detroit. That will be a win for Detroit and a win for Michigan. Michigan is the comeback state and we need our state's largest city to be healthy and strong to keep the comeback going strong."
The governor and Orr will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Friday to discuss the Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing for Detroit. The news conference will take place at the DPTV studios, which are located at 5057 Woodward Ave., Detroit 48202. The news conference also will be live streamed and may be accessed by going to:www.michigan.gov/snyder.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 17:00
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
In a press conference Thursday evening, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr addressed the city of Detroit regarding the city’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing.
Mayor Bing begin the conference with the following opening statements:
“We tried to work our way through the situation over the last 4 years, but it’s been very difficult”
Mayor Bing continued with his thought on the bankruptcy filing:
As tough as this is, I really didn’t want to go in this direction, but now that we are here, we have to make the best of it. I think Orr and the team he has brought together, has a lot of history of succeeding. This is very difficult for all of us, but if it’s going to make the citizens better off, then this is a new start for us.
Mayor Bing, then turned the podium over to Emergency Manager Keyvn Orr, who wanted to reassure the citizens of Detroit:
I want to reassure them as far as things are concern for the provision of services and the conduct of city business, it is business in the ordinary course. Services will remain open, paycheck will be made, bills will be paid, nothing changes from the standpoint of the ordinary citizens viewpoint.
Orr continued with a closing statement on what’s Detroit’s next steps are:
What this does, is gives us a opportunity begin to address some of the cities overbearing debt, begin to provide the level of services, and address the health, safety and welfare concerns of the citizens of the city and to move forward to a fresh start for this great city.
I don't have more to say, because we will have further discussion about what this means going forward tomorrow.
Stay tuned to the Michigan Chronicle for updates as this story develops.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 July 2013 08:41
St. John Providence Health System Joins Forces with Other Health Systems to Support Medicaid Expansion
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
As the CEOs of three major health systems in Michigan, we support Governor Snyder's Healthy Michigan Plan that strives to improve and strengthen our state's Medicaid program and offer health insurance to low-income working adults.
Failing to accept federal support to provide health insurance to an estimated 450,000 working Michigan adults – including many veterans – will have serious consequences to our local economy. Michigan will forgo about $2.1 billion in economic activity and an estimated 18,000 new jobs generated by the additional federal dollars coming into the state's health care system.
Business leaders across Michigan -- including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Association of Michigan and the Detroit Regional Chamber– are quick to point out that Medicaid reform can help slow the increase in health insurance premiums paid by Michigan employers, by reducing the burden of uncompensated care currently borne by Michigan hospitals. According to some estimates, this cost-shift has imposed a hidden tax of about $1,000 per family through higher health insurance premiums.
Some have suggested that the state cannot afford to enhance Medicaid. Yet this argument is not supported by several reports. They conclude that, with matching federal dollars, the curbing of cost-shifting, and the resulting healthier workforce, Michigan would actually save money by strengthening Medicaid. Adopting the Governor's plan would also address the untreated health issues faced by Michiganders who are currently uninsured, putting patients and their families on a healthier course.
Today's Medicaid program is not perfect. The historical challenges posed by health care provider reimbursement and primary care access will not evaporate overnight, though in a recent report most providers indicated their willingness to take on newly covered patients. Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, University of Michigan Health System and St. John Providence Health System have the resources and willingness to care for Medicaid patients.
By embracing the opportunity to enhance Michigan's Medicaid program, we can improve health outcomes and program sustainability while creating efficiencies that will enable us to cover more of our citizens.
Our hospitals and clinical staff have a long history of treating the uninsured and underinsured in Southeast Michigan. While not the easy thing to do, it is the right thing to do.
But we cannot solve the problems of the uninsured and underinsured on our own. Legislators have a unique opportunity to provide additional access to health care services for these vulnerable populations, relieve our businesses of some of the burden of cost-shifting, create new jobs and save our state precious tax dollars.
To those who argue we cannot afford to support Governor Snyder's plan, we say: We cannot afford not to support the Healthy Michigan Plan.
Jean Meyer, Interim President & CEO, St. John Providence Health System; Garry Faja, President & CEO, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System; Ora Pescovitz, CEO, University of Michigan Health System
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 13:55
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