State Lawmakers Look To Patch Medicaid Shortfall, Say Long-Term Solution Critical

Feb 21, 2014

There’s a shortfall of more than $100 million in Michigan’s Medicaid program.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network's Jake Neher reports, state lawmakers are debating ways to fix the problem.

The hole in the Medicaid budget was caused by a new tax on health insurance claims. That tax isn’t generating the kind of cash state officials expected. The state Senate this week passed a mid-year budget bill that would fill the hole this year.

But Angela Minicuci with the Michigan Department of Community Health says a long-term fix is needed.

“There is certainly a structural problem," she says.  "This isn’t just a one year solution.”

State Senator Roger Kahn chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. He says the tax needs to be replaced to make sure health insurance for low-income Michiganders isn’t at risk.

“There needs to be a fix and it’s a lot of money,” he says.

Republicans in the state House want to attach the money to a controversial new bill that would overhaul Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law.