Governor Line-item Vetoes Healthcare Funding
Posted on October 01, 2019
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued 147 line-item vetoes to the state budget Sept. 30, eliminating nearly $1 billion in spending, including $20.2 million in healthcare funding that would make key strides in protecting and improving access and quality of care for Michigan residents.
The Legislature-approved fiscal year 2020 conference report for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services budget, Senate Bill (SB) 139, included $20.2 million in new general fund support for hospitals and patient access by increasing Medicaid outpatient reimbursement rates. The budget would have also provided additional enhancements to reimbursement rates for critical access hospitals. Recent studies have shown that small and rural hospitals nationwide are struggling, in part due to lower reimbursement for services provided to patients covered through Medicaid, and the MHA advocated for additional funding to ensure continued access to care in rural Michigan communities.
Those items were eliminated in the governor’s vetoes, as well as the Rural Access Pool and Obstetrical Stabilization Fund, both of which were included in the governor’s executive budget proposal in February. The development of the governor’s vetoes seems to be largely driven by her desire to reset the negotiating table with legislators rather than a lack of support for healthcare.
The MHA will work diligently with the Whitmer administration and state Legislature to restore hospital funding that had bipartisan support and encourages members to contact the governor and express their support of this funding. The association also encourages members to thank legislators and encourage them to support these funds to maintain and improve access to care across Michigan.
The MHA will keep members apprised as the budget process continues. Members with questions may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Top Issues - Healthcare