Gov. Wes Moore’s win puts the governorship back in Democrats’ hands after two terms of Republican control, which put Maryland Democrats in full control of the state’s government.
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During Moore’s State of the State address, he hinted at his legislative agenda, which includes healthcare-related items like addressing Maryland’s workforce shortage, attracting and retaining healthcare workers, and helping Marylanders navigate Maryland’s “maze” of behavioral health crisis and trauma.
“A responsible budget does not prevent progress; it helps move us forward,” Moore said. “We can and will build a state that Leaves No One Behind. I am eager to highlight a few key areas of investment, with numerous priorities.”
Last week, Moore announced his budget for the upcoming 2024 fiscal year, which sheds more light on some of his healthcare priorities and overall 2024 priorities. Moore’s 2024 budget for Maryland focuses on education, ending child poverty, environmental issues, behavioral health initiatives, and on rebuilding the state government.
The total revenue for Maryland’s 2024 budget totals $63 billion. The top three sources are $18.9 billion from federal funds, $14.6 billion from individual income tax, and $7 billion comes from sales tax.
Maryland’s health expenditures total 32% of the overall fiscal year 2024 budget at $20.3 billion. Among Moore’s healthcare-related priorities is the state’s Medicaid program; community services for developmentally disabled Marylanders; mental health and substance abuse programs; healthcare infrastructure and staffing; pandemic response; and services for seniors.
“And because we must continue to support those among us when they need lifting up, our budget increases funding for behavioral health initiatives to support how our state delivers behavioral health services to Marylanders,” Moore said. “It also accelerates increases in provider rates for services related to behavioral health, substance use disorders, developmental disabilities, nursing homes, and other vital services.”
Major health-related highlights from the budget include:
- $14.7 billion in total funds for Maryland’s Medicaid program
- $1.8 billion to support community services for developmentally disabled Marylanders
- $616 million to fund provider rate increase in the fields of behavioral health, developmental disabilities, Medicaid, and other healthcare services
- $485 million for mental health and substance use disorder treatment for the uninsured population
- $428.9 million for substance use disorder services
- $152 million in stimulus funding in the Maryland Department of Health to aid in the department’s continuing pandemic response
- $78 million in state funding is provided over two years to make investments in the Maryland Behavioral Health system
- $50 million in one-time state funding for Maryland hospitals to cover the remaining balance of the Medicaid budget deficit, which was determined under the Medicaid Budget Deficit Assessment by Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission
- $37 million in additional total funds to enhance and build new infrastructure for the state’s data system to focus on health equity, COVID-19 reporting, and the Maryland Primary Care Program’s Social Determinants of Health tools
- $16 million for critical maintenance and facility upgrades at state health facilities.
- $15 million to support the activities of the Opioid Operational Command Center, including $10 million in grant funding and $3.75 million for the Statewide Targeted Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act
- $10 million in operating support for the UM Capital Region Medical Center
- $9.9 million for Senior Care
- $5.5 million to maintain 9-8-8 as the universal telephone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline