For the first time in over 40 years, there is a Democratic House, Senate, and governor in the state of Michigan, and during Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State address, she highlighted how she plans to promote the repeal of the state’s 1931 law banning abortions.
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This past week, Whitmer announced her budget for the upcoming 2024 fiscal year, which sheds a little more light on some of her additional healthcare priorities.
Whitmer’s budget for Michigan focuses on education, higher education and workforce development, public health, public safety, infrastructure, and economic development. The budget recommendation totals $79 billion, of which $14.8 billion comes from the general fund and $19 billion comes from the School Aid Fund.
“Today, I am proud to introduce my executive budget proposal to lower costs, grow our economy, and build a brighter future for anyone who wants to call Michigan home,” Whitmer said.
“My budget includes investments to put money back in people’s pockets, help students thrive in school, put more people on paths to higher education and good-paying jobs, rebuild our infrastructure, keep our communities safe, and improve public health. In the months ahead, I look forward to working with my partners in the legislature to deliver a balanced budget that makes a real difference in people’s lives. Let’s get it done.”
Among her healthcare-related priorities is public health, for which she recommends creating a plan for manufacturing insulin in Michigan, funding the Healthy Moms Healthy Babies program, initiatives to close racial health disparities, family planning services, STI and cancer screenings, and basic lab services to people.
The budget’s public health provisions include:
- $210.1 million to increase wage support for direct care professionals serving in nursing homes and extended care facilities.
- $150 million for efforts aimed at attracting and establishing a Michigan-based insulin manufacturing facility to lower the cost of insulin while creating new high-skill, high-demand jobs.
- $129.7 million for additional Medicaid health access and equity to improve enrollee access to services.
- $62.1 million to fund Healthy Moms Healthy Babies, a bipartisan program that supports pregnant women, new mothers, and young children.
- $58 million to implement recommendations from the Racial Disparities Task Force, including neighborhood health grants, mobile health units, sickle cell support and more.
- $30 million increase in support to local health departments to provide essential services.
- $15 million to create a new foster care respite care program to provide temporary, occasional relief to foster parents.
- $6.2 million to fund the Medicaid Plan First! program to expand access to family planning services and cancer screening.