Friday, May 11, 2007

Health 5-11-07

The proposal would give counties $100 million toward their estimated $517 million Medicaid costs - nearly 20 percent of the total cost. Half of that money would be set aside for counties with the highest percentages of people receiving Medicaid coverage. It is a responsible, thoughtful way to help those counties most burdened by the cost of Medicaid. The other half would be spread among all counties. Guilford County has projected costs of $21,054,539 in Medicaid expenditures. The percent of Medicaid eligible recipients in Guilford is 17.74% of the population, resulting in fiscal relief of $2,035,586 for the county.

Mental health reform remains one of the priorities of this state. In this budget, we increase spending for mental health by about $20 million, with a focus on housing, substance abuse treatment, crisis services, and employment.

$2 million is proposed in additional funding for HIV prevention, education, and treatment. We had hoped to expand the authorized funding to include harm reduction pilot projects in three counties (including Guilford), but the controversy over the involvement of sterile syringes sidetracked the effort.

Budget writers also proposed $8.4 million to subsidize child care costs for an additional 2,000 children, and $4 million to hire 80 more school nurses.

No comments: