Governor & Legislature Finalize State Budget that Invests in Primary Care Workforce, Access to Care

July 8, 2022 - In the morning hours of July 1, the Michigan Legislature passed the Fiscal Year 2023 state budget bill, which was then sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in time to meet the finalization deadline recently established by statute.

Several MAFP priorities are included in the budget that are aimed at increasing the primary care physician and behavioral healthcare professional shortages. Click here for details about investments in the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program and its expansion to include behavioral healthcare professionals as eligible participants, MIDOCs, and a new Medicaid primary care rate increase.

Boilerplate language is also included in the budget bill that directs the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to continue to "seek means to increase retention of Michigan medical school students for completion of their primary care residency requirements within this state and ultimately, for some period of time, to remain in this state and serve as primary care physicians;" to allocate general fund/general purpose dollars for the state's immunization program (subject to federal approval); and to "continue, and expand where appropriate, utilization of telemedicine and telepsychaitry as strategies to increase access to services for Medicaid recipients," among other important healthcare-related directives.

Click here to read MAFP President Dr. Srikar Reddy's response statement that applauds the budget's passage and important healthcare investments.

Following passage of the bipartisan budget, the Legislature adjourned for the summer. Most senators and representatives are spending the summer in-district work period campaigning in their local communities in preparation for the upcoming August primary election. At MAFP, advocacy work on access to care and primary care workforce pipeline issues is continuing throughout the summer and into the fall.

Legislators will reconvene in Lansing in September, following the Labor Day holiday. This will leave just 30 scheduled days of legislative session remaining in 2022, with more than half taking place during Lame duck—the period of time after the November general election and the end of the year.