Budget fight looms over changes in Medicaid mental health in Michigan

September 27, 2019 | Bridge Magazine

As the state of Michigan prepares for the upcoming budget fight over proposed changes to Medicaid and mental health in Michigan, advocates and lawmakers have expressed concern and opposition to the governor’s proposal to shift behavioral health management responsibilities to Medicaid health plans.

“How we should deliver mental health services in Michigan is really a crucial issue. It’s a core question that is still on the table.”


Marianne Udow-Phillips

September 27th, 2019

“Mental health advocates are pressing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to veto budget provisions they say could “irreparably damage” care for 300,000 low-income people in Michigan with serious mental illness or developmental disabilities,” writes Ted Roelofs for Bridge Michigan.

“While overshadowed by other budget showdowns, their warnings are the latest in a long-simmering skirmish over who should manage care for these individuals.

Under a plan first proposed by GOP Gov. Rick Snyder in 2016, Michigan was to privatize its $2.4 billion public mental health system by turning over state funding to Medicaid physical health plans as part of a plan to integrate physical and mental-health services for low-income patients.

Proponents said that merger would save millions of dollars while improving care. Critics said the switch would leave care for the mentally ill and disabled in the wrong hands.”