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EO Medicaid Cuts Would Harm People
Date:5/4/2009

Health Care for All Michigan Residents Will Suffer

LANSING, Mich., May 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the recession sends record numbers of Michigan residents onto the Medicaid rolls or into hospital emergency rooms with no health insurance, any mid-year cuts to Medicaid would harm people across the state, health care leaders warned today.

Physicians, hospital executives, long-term-care and mental health providers implored the governor and Legislature to abandon any plans to cut Medicaid from the governor's Executive Order spending reductions to be announced tomorrow.

"We do understand that the state is in dire financial straits, but cuts to Medicaid harm people and we are certain neither the governor nor legislators want to further destabilize the state's fragile health care system," said Spencer Johnson, president of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA), which represents all 144 nonprofit hospitals in Michigan.

The health care leaders have been told the governor may recommend another 4 percent cut to Medicaid provider rates, which are already grossly inadequate. A 4 percent cut would reduce Medicaid patient care payments by nearly $53 million (this includes federal matching dollars) to save $16 million in general funds between July 1 and Sept. 30. Since 1996, Medicaid hospital patient care funding in Michigan has been slashed by more than $850 million. Currently, Medicaid pays for the health care of nearly 1.7 million Michigan residents, an all-time record high. Most people who rely on Medicaid are children, young families, the elderly and the disabled.

Also straining the health care safety net in Michigan are the rising numbers of people with no health insurance who are seeking care -- for which they cannot pay -- in hospital emergency rooms. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, since 1999, more than 727,000 Michigan residents who had
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SOURCE Michigan Health & Hospital Association
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