H. Potential Actions by the MEA's Political Machine

With all of the problems that MESSA has created for public education in the state of Michigan, it is quite evident that the state must scrutinize the MESSA operation and consider corrective measures to alleviate its overall waste and inefficiency. With public awareness and outrage about MESSA surmounting, the time has come for a thoughtful debate over MESSA. In late September of 1993, the Michigan Insurance Bureau announced that it is initiating a discussion of MESSA; the Bureau is performing a routine market conduct exam of MESSA in response to several complaints from the public. An article in the Detroit News on September 22, 1993 stated:

The probe began after allegations that MESSA adds unnecessary costs to taxpayer-supported school employee health insurance and it is funneling profits to the Michigan Education Association to use for the union's political lobbying and other purposes...118

Warren Culver, the executive director of MESSA, denied any wrongdoing by stating, "It sounds to me like [the deputy insurance commissioner] is shooting in the dark." The facts will speak for themselves. Yet, assuming the state does determine that a legislative response is necessary to combat the deficiencies of MESSA, is there any likelihood that corrective measures will ever be enacted? The chances are slim that MESSA will ever be forced to comply with any regulations or standards of operating efficiency, unless a major impediment can be avoided. That impediment to reform is the MEA's ability to sway public policy in its own favor otherwise known as the MEA political machine.