A rainy day has come for Medicaid acute therapy services and those who need them.
House Bill 2, the supplemental appropriation push filed by Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, focuses on funding many state-funded healthcare programs left out of the 2016-17 budget.
The supplemental budget will cover areas where the Legislature fell short in funding state programs. Often, lawmakers underfund certain programs, like Medicaid. Supplemental appropriations are introduced to balance out things.
HB2 would basically reverse the significant Medicaid budget cut that went into effect late last year. It would also pull more money into Child Protective Services staffing and renovations of state mental health hospitals.
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Last legislative session, lawmakers signed off on a $350 million cut to Medicaid’s budget. This mostly affected state-funded speech, physical and occupational therapy for about 60,000 children.
Zerwas proposes that the money come from the Rainy Day Fund. Using $1.4 billion from the fund wouldn’t burst any dams, but it will fix a lot of growing cracks in the state’s healthcare system.