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    Following President Obama’s signing of the massive federal stimulus bill on February 17, 2009, the American Hospital Association released their breakdown of the portions of the ARRA that provide money for health care programs.

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    The aid is separated into several broad categories:

    - Health care for the newly unemployed

    - Medicaid funding fiscal relief to states

    - Regulatory Reform

    - Money for conversion of workforce

    - Health Information Technology Investments

    - Creation of a Prevention and Wellness fund

    The temporary increase in Medicaid funding provides the greatest increases to health care funding for states specifically. Currently the federal government funds Medicaid through a matching program of State contributions. Two thirds of the $86.6 billion appropriated to this section will be allocated through an across the board increase in the percentage that the federal government matches the money that states spend on Medicaid, and the other third will be allocated specifically to states with high unemployment rates. With Michigan having on the highest unemployment rates in the nation, we stand to receive funds from this second category of money.

    In addition to the Medicaid match increase, the ARRA also includes a 2.5% increase to the all state Disproportionate Share Hospital Payment Programs for one fiscal year. This program gives money to hospitals that serve a larger than average proportion of uninsured patients, as they are forced to absorb the cost of emergency treatment for these patients.

    Please visit the Michigan Hospital Association’s website for the complete list of health care programs receiving funding through the ARRA.

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    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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    Leah Brynaert is Health Care Fellow & Correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network. She is a first-year student in Lyman Briggs College at MSU.