Senate subcommittee approves Marleau’s community health budget

LANSING—The Michigan Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Health approved the Fiscal Year 2016 Department of Community Health (DCH) budget on Tuesday.

The budget rejects a suggested reduction to hospital funding and requires hospitals to be more transparent in reporting outcomes.

Sen. Jim Marleau, chairman of the committee, sponsored Senate Bill 118.

“All of our residents deserve access to high quality health care,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “This plan ensures that access while allowing residents to compare hospital outcomes.”

The DCH budget would increase personal responsibility by increasing copays for the Healthy Michigan Plan population, Marleau said.

“Our residents are becoming more engaged in being healthy. This proposal supports those making healthier decisions,” he said.

The budget also would cover children of low-income families in Kent, Oakland and Wayne counties under the Healthy Kids Dental program, through age 21, beginning July 1, 2016. Underserved children in these counties currently are not covered by the program.

“Under this budget, now for the first time both low-income children and adults will have access to dental care across every community,” Marleau said.

SB 118 now heads to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.