Legislative Work on Medicaid Work Requirements, State Healthcare Budget Continues
Posted on April 19, 2018
The Michigan Senate approved Senate Bill (SB) 897 in a 26-11 vote held April 19. The legislation would institute work requirements for Medicaid recipients in Michigan, including individuals enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan.
In written testimony provided to members of the Senate Committee on Michigan Competitiveness during a hearing on the bill the day before the Senate vote, the MHA voiced its opposition to the legislation, raising concerns that people who are in full compliance with the work, training or education requirements outlined in the bill could still lose medical coverage for an entire year for simply failing to meet a reporting requirement. The MHA contends that a penalty this harsh will not help anyone obtain better employment or commercial health insurance.
Following the Senate vote, the measure will now be referred to the Michigan House of Representatives for consideration, with the chamber expected to take up the legislation within the next couple of weeks.
On the state budget front, both the House and Senate continued work on their respective versions of the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget. While there is still work to do before the budgets are finalized in June, overall the MHA has been pleased with the FY 2019 proposals so far. Both the House and Senate versions of the DHHS budgets are available online.
The most important takeaway for hospitals relates to the MHA Board-supported multiyear budget deal. In line with Gov. Rick Snyder’s Executive Recommendation, both the House and Senate proposals maintain funding for three MHA priority items: graduate medical education at $57 million general fund (GF) ($163 million total), obstetric hospital services at $4 million GF, and the rural access pool at $12 million GF.
Other notable provisions within the healthcare budgets include the following:
- Healthy Michigan Plan: Both the House and the Senate concurred with the governor’s recommendation by fully funding the state’s obligation for the program.
- Medicaid reimbursement rates are protected in the House and Senate versions of the budget, including the uplift for primary care physician services to the midpoint between Medicaid and Medicare rates.
The House Appropriations Committee has reported the DHHS budget to the House floor for consideration, and the Senate Appropriation Committee is expected to follow suit the week of April 23. Once the House and Senate budgets pass each chamber, they will move to a Conference Committee to reconcile differences between the two different versions.
The MHA will continue to keep members apprised as the Medicaid work requirement bill and budget proposals move through the legislative process. Members with questions about SB 897 or the state budgets should contact Chris Mitchell at the MHA.
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Top Issues - Healthcare