Whitmer approves $ 385 million bill to help Michigan hospitals and nursing homes

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed a $ 385 million supplemental budget bill, two-thirds of which will go to hospitals and nursing homes that will face financial pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.

The new law sets aside $ 10 million in state emergency spending for locations hit by tornadoes, heavy rains and floods in late June. More than $ 100 million will go to raise subsidy rates by 40% for childcare providers who serve low-income children, retroactively from last October, and paying providers based on registration rather than attendance at the end of June.

All funds, with the exception of $ 17 million, come from federal aid in connection with COVID-19, passed by Congress and former President Donald Trump late last year. Some foundations will expand grants to county sheriffs for road patrols amid an increase in fatal accidents, and will add to a government fund that pays compensation to illegally convicted prisoners.

During a signing event at the Parkridge Community Center in Ypsilanti, the Democrat governor called spending “another piece of the puzzle” as Michigan’s economy recovers.

Hospital grants totaling $ 160 million will be prorated for their share of Medicaid revenue. Nursing homes with occupancy rates down 5% or more will be split $ 100 million based on the number of residents eligible for Medicaid.

“Michigan hospitals have experienced significant financial hardship caring for more than 125,000 COVID-19 patients in the past 16 months of the pandemic,” said Michigan Health and Hospitals Association CEO Brian Peters in a statement thanking Whitmer and lawmakers for helping maintain access of residents. take care.

Funding for childcare was also hailed as an important step in helping providers reopen and pay higher wages.

“A strong childcare system is critical to Michigan’s future, both economically and socially. Access to high-quality, affordable childcare means parents can return to work and service providers can keep their doors open when they have the resources, ”said Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy.

It was not immediately clear how disaster response funding would be used. Homeowners affected by flooding in the Detroit area joined the governor in talking about their plight.

Whitmer said federal, state and local governments were working on a plan to help people with flooded basements, and noted that President Joe Biden provided federal disaster relief.

“We hope that now we can mobilize some resources with this action, that federal dollars will start to flow in, but this (the federal government) will also give us the opportunity to expand our request, because now we have homeowners who have been hit by a few once or for the first time, which was not included in the first initial statement, ”she said.

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