The State Legislature returned to Lansing this week for regular sessions following a two-week spring recess. Top on the priority list was the fiscal year 2011 budget, projected to be $1.6 billion in the red. Just before the recess, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) budget. Of interest to Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) and its members, this version freezes enrollment in ABW, cuts funding to Mental Health for Non-Medicaid mental health services by 20% (57.5 million), reduces physician rates by 4% with the exception of primary care providers, reduces the Healthy Michigan fund to $5 million and directs that to pay for poison control and immunizations, and RESTORES the Medicaid Dental benefit.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Michigan Department of Community Health is now beginning work on developing a FY 2011 budget proposal for the department. On Wednesday, department leaders testified before the subcommittee on MDCH’s budget priorities. On April 19, the subcommittee will hear testimony regarding the Medicaid Program. Doug Paterson, MPCA’s Director of State Policy, and Anthony King, Executive Director of The Wellness Plan Health Centers, will provide testimony on behalf of MPCA, requesting maintenance of the integrity of the Medicaid program, restoration of the Medicaid adult dental benefit, and consideration of reforming the current tax structure to assure basic state services are maintained. The testimony will be available on the MPCA website next week.
Jane Grover, DDS, Dental Director at the Center for Family Health, and Cheryl Gilder from the Ingham County Health Department will provide testimony on behalf of the Michigan Oral Health Coalition to increase awareness of the devastating impact that elimination of the Medicaid adult dental reimbursement has had on thousands of low-income Michigan residents.