Legislative Update: Governor’s Budget Presentation

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s recommendation for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year reflects significant increases in various areas, contributing to a 5.5 percent rise overall. The key highlights include:

  • Medicaid Caseload Increase: The largest portion of the budget increase is attributed to accommodating the anticipated rise in Medicaid enrollment, with a $1.63 billion investment proposed.
  • Behavioral Health Clinics: A substantial allocation of $193.3 million aims to expand Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, potentially benefiting up to 50,000 individuals.
  • Maternal Health and Child Welfare: Significant investments are directed towards maternal health and child welfare, with increases in funding for programs such as pre-release services for prisoners, juvenile justice restructuring, and reproductive health initiatives.
  • Aid to the Poor: Several initiatives target aiding impoverished populations, including increased food assistance, cash assistance through the Family Independence Program, and energy bill support.
  • Worker Wages: Non-direct care workers, including those in nursing homes, are set to receive a wage increase, while direct care workers had no proposed raise.
  • Contractual Changes in Medicaid Administration: The budget proposes adjustments in Medicaid contracts, including increased reinvestment requirements for plans and adjustments in premiums and coverage.

Legislative and Public Response: Responses from legislators and stakeholder organizations have generally reflected support for the new investments proposed by the Governor. At MSMS we are particularly pleased to see the focus on behavioral health, maternal health, and poverty alleviation.

Despite an overall positive reception, some politically conservative groups and legislators are raising concerns regarding sustainability of this proposal with the potential for economic downturn over the next several years. However, the proposal is still largely being seen as a step towards addressing long-standing gaps in public health and social welfare programs, which we feel is a win for Michigan residents.

MSMS staff will continue to monitor the budget process closely over the coming weeks and months. We are specifically looking for opportunities to advocate for strategic investments in Medicaid reimbursement and health equity advancements.