Turning their backs on people of Michigan

Contact: Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436

Statement: Subcommittee misses chance to save lives, improve health of Mich. residents

The spending plan approved by the House Community Health Appropriations Subcommittee today rejected several positive measures offered by Gov. Rick Snyder. Those include the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the expansion of Healthy Kids Dental to 70,500 children, $60,000 to expand mental health treatment for veterans, $5 million for innovation grants for mental health treatment for children and youth and an increase of $2.5 million to address safe sleep practices and other ways to avoid infant mortality. The following statement is by Gilda Z. Jacobs, president & CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and advocacy organization.

“The subcommittee members voting in favor of this plan are deliberately turning away money to pay for needed health care and mental health services that will save lives in Michigan. They are intentionally turning their backs on the 320,000 or more  low-income uninsured people who have no health care coverage; 70,500 children in need of dental care; veterans, children and youth in need of mental health care services, and those 800 families each year who struggle with the loss of babies whose deaths may have been prevented.

“This plan by Gov. Rick Snyder works for Michigan and uses money made available from the federal government. Without it, Michigan will not be able to provide the services and those dollars will flow to other states. The governor has taken appropriate and laudable steps in Michigan to address the tragedy of Newtown by expanding mental health services across the board and the Legislature should act to ensure our safety as well.’’