Michael Lynch has been a lifelong advocate for working- and middle-class families. He has made guaranteeing access to affordable, quality health care for all Michiganders, particularly those in rural areas, a top priority. He believes that access to a wide variety of health care options is a right and not a privilege. Access to health care should not be based on one’s ability to pay.
Michael began his advocacy after seeing a very good friend die and another friend go blind because they lacked access to affordable medical services. His friend, Vicky, suffered a stroke after she was forced to choose between paying for her insulin and buying groceries. Thanks to the Biden administration, the cost of insulin has been reduced so people like Vicky will no longer be faced with choices between medicine and food.
His other friend, Doug, had a medical condition that went undiagnosed for too long. The corporate-run hospital near where he lived reduced services after a shift in population in the area. His friend no longer had easy access to a medical facility that offered a full range of services and now survives with the help of government assistance at a cost greater than if Doug would have received proper health care earlier.
As your Congressman, Michael will organize around commonsense issues to make positive change in our country. He is an advocate for Native American rights, including allowing access to entrepreneurial opportunities and he works for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan. Native American women make approximately 65% of what a man makes for the same work. Michael believes that all Americans regardless of race, creed, color, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation should have the same rights and the same access to opportunities.
Michael is no newcomer to politics and advocacy. While working on the campaigns of Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, and Bill Clinton, he actively campaigned for the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. He also appeared before the Louisiana State Senate in support of gaming enterprises.
Michael spent much of his youth traveling around as an Air Force Brat. His father was an Air Force officer and his mother was a Marine. Upon his father’s retirement from the Air Force, his family settled in Central Florida. To help his family make ends meet, Michael took jobs working on horse farms and in orange groves.
Michael credits his work ethic to his grandparents who immigrated to the United States from Ireland. After serving in World War I, one of his grandfathers went to work in a glassmaking factory. His other grandfather worked laying natural gas pipes, bringing utilities to rural areas. Michael’s maternal grandfather eventually became the Vice President of the Gas Workers’ Union in Chicago.
A proud Eagle Boy Scout, he continues to volunteer with the Heartland District of the Michigan Crossroads Council of Scouts BSA.
Michael graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S.B.A. in Economics. He received his MBA from Louisiana State University and his Ph.D. from Iowa State University. He taught at DePaul University where he received the Adjunct Professor Distinguished Teaching Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award. While teaching at West Virginia University, he received the Reed College of Media Teaching Award. He has also taught at Louisiana State University, Georgetown University, and Indiana University. Besides being a frequent lecturer at the University of Chicago, Michael has been called upon to participate as an instructor at the International Hotel and Tourism School in Singapore and as an advisor for Student Services and Student Engagement at Stanford University.
Michael lives in Alma along the Pine River. He has one daughter of whom he is very proud. She is a talented musician and a medical professional. Michael is committed to clean air and water in our lakes, rivers, and streams. Michigan can no longer be a dumping ground for irresponsible corporations and Lake Michigan must be preserved in order for it to continue to be the economic driver that it is. If you ask Michael about what motivates him to serve, he will tell you, “I want to leave the world a better place than I found it.”
Recent Supreme Court rulings jeopardize access to reliable healthcare. Doctors hesitate to provide necessary care for fear of breaking the law. Over the past 40 years, healthcare costs in America have skyrocketed while lifespans have not increased. The Declaration of Independence provides that our creator endows us with certain rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Access to quality healthcare should not be based on one’s ability to pay. Insurance coverage should not be based on pre-existing conditions. Michael Lynch supports increased funding, including scholarships and support for students, to improve the availability and quality of healthcare in rural Michigan.
Horace Mann, a pioneer of American public schools, called quality public education the “great equalizer of the conditions of men.” Students who do not have access to quality education or drop out before graduating can end up on the wrong side of a lifelong gap in employment, earnings, and life expectancy. Often, the quality of a person’s life hinges less on one’s potential and more on the quality of the local public school.
Rural public schools are often at the center of the community. Public education should be of the quality that graduates want to stay in or return to the community where they went to school to have their children educated in that same community. Michael Lynch believes that the "Friday Night Lights" should continue shining and that our schools should remain at the core of our communities.
As a university professor for over 20 years, Michael has realized that college is not the best pathway for all students. Michael promotes continuing education for adults and affordable classes through our community colleges. Expanded funding should include early childhood education. Michael Lynch supports our union member educators.
The lack of affordable housing can stifle economic growth in rural areas, particularly in vacation areas and areas with seasonal residents. Businesses have difficulty finding employees who are willing or able to stay. Affordable housing is essential to maintaining and growing rural economies.
Michael is aware of the billions of dollars in commerce lost to inadequate or failing infrastructure. Governor Gretchen Whitmer promised to “fix the damn roads.” We also need to fix the damn dams and the bridges. Improvements to these facilities are necessary to support transportation for farm products and e-commerce capabilities for farmers and rural Michiganders. Improved infrastructure should also include solar and wind energy projects. Fossil fuels will not last forever.
As we move into the 21st century, communication and connectivity are more important than ever. Reliable and affordable broadband internet and dependable cell phone service are essential for at-home workers, students, and farmers. Upgrades to these services will help farmers to improve the productivity of their fields and ranches.
environment and energy
The air is still contaminated 50 years after the Vesicol chemical plant disaster in St. Louis, Michigan. Although designated as a Superfund site, the area around the plant still contains contaminated waste. Rivers in mid-Michigan, including the Pine River, have high levels of e-coli, making recreation and fishing dangerous. Stories have been told of fishermen having to sanitize their hands because of the e-coli they pick up from their fishing lines. Michigan cannot be the dumping ground for other states’ hazardous waste.
The Great Lakes must be preserved for the enjoyment of Michiganders and for the economic engines that they are. Invasive species must be kept from the lakes to maintain ecological balance.
Clean and renewable energy projects, such as solar and wind farms, will help farmers and rural Michiganders by creating jobs and boosting tax revenues. Michael believes we should welcome companies developing and building the technology to power electric motor vehicles.
Climate change, evolving international markets, and corporate consolidation have created an economic crisis for agriculture, particularly for family farms. For this reason, more multi-generational farms are being sold or auctioned. Four firms currently control 85% of beef production, 66% of pork, and 54% of chicken. Anti-trust laws must be enforced to improve competition in agricultural markets. Increased competition will boost the prices paid to farmers and ranchers and reduce prices at the grocery store. In 1980, 62 cents of every retail dollar of beef sold went to ranchers. Today ranchers only receive 37 cents for every dollar sold of beef.
Programs to encourage private, operator ownership of farmland should be enhanced. Foreign ownership should be discouraged. Land Grant Universities and state extension services should be properly funded to foster research, particularly for strategies to lessen the effects of climate change.
Transparency at all levels of government should be the rule instead of the exception. Half-truths, rumors, and misinformation from our elected officials should no longer be circulated or tolerated. Michael Lynch believes that you should be able to trust your representatives and not have to worry about their motivations.
Our government should not be swayed by moneyed interests and needs to do a better job of serving the people. Now is the time for the return of the Statesman and Stateswoman. Our elected officials should not expect us to be controlled by fear. They should keep us informed and honestly communicate with the electorate about the legislation that most affects them.
integrity of elections
Few things are more important to the health of a democracy than the right to have one’s vote counted. The principle of one person, one vote is at the heart of our democracy. In this country, all registered voters get a voice, and that voice should not be muffled or silenced.
Elections and those who facilitate them are under attack. Little proof has been presented that our elections are rigged or should be considered unreliable. Anyone who claims that our elections are falsified or who would join legislators in trying to overturn a fair election does not have the best interest of our country in mind.
Michael Lynch supports regulations and laws to make voting as easy as possible so everyone can have their voice heard. As your representative, Michael Lynch will be a megaphone for your voice and the voice of Michiganders.