- Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Seeking Waiver for Healthy Michigan Plan
- New Website Launched on Preserving the Earned Income Tax Credit
- Every Child Achieves Act Passed by U.S. Senate
- Pope Speaks on Common Good, Need for Active Dialogue in Society
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Seeking Waiver for Healthy Michigan Plan
In 2013, Michigan enacted legislation to expand eligibility for healthcare coverage through the state’s Medicaid program, now called the Healthy Michigan Plan. Individuals with incomes up to 133 percent the federal poverty level are eligible to gain access to this benefit, and approximately 600,000 have enrolled in the plan since its inception. In order to pass the legislation, Michigan added some unique provisions to the state’s expansion of the Medicaid program, including a requirement that clients who have had coverage through the program for at least four years will either contribute a percentage of their income to their coverage or have the option to choose to purchase insurance on the federal exchange with subsidies.
Since these provisions are outside the scope of the federal Medicaid rules, the federal government must approve a waiver to allow the state to operate its program with these provisions beyond April 1, 2016. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will be requesting this waiver by September 1, 2015. To advocate that the waiver be approved and the Healthy Michigan program continue, contact the Michigan DHHS to share your support during the public comment period (through July 31, 2015).
New Website Launched on Preserving the Earned Income Tax Credit
Several weeks ago, Catholic Advocacy Network members contacted their elected officials on the importance of preserving the state Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor. At that time, the Michigan Senate refrained from passing a bill that would cut the credit as part of its transportation funding package. An informative new website is now available for those interested in the topic and in further information about its preservation as transportation funding discussions continue in both chambers. Visit http://saveeitc.com/ to learn more.
Every Child Achieves Act Passed By U.S. Senate
On Thursday, July 16, the U.S. Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177) by an 81–17 vote. This bill would reauthorize the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and is the Senate version of a measure that passed the U.S. House last week. The ESEA, since its inception in 1965, has continually upheld the principle that all students in need deserve an equitable share of services and benefits, regardless of the type of school they attend. That principle has unfortunately been eroded since the Act’s most recent reauthorization in 2001. The Every Child Achieves Act improves access to services for teachers and students in all schools, including non-public ones. Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters voted in support of the measure, which will now continue to the U.S. House for further consideration.
Pope Speaks on Common Good, Need for Active Dialogue in Society
During a recent trip to South America, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of open dialogue in creating a more inclusive society. He also spoke about the need for all to pursue the common good, which “moves [the conversation] from ‘what is best for me’ to ‘what is best for everyone.’” Read his talks below:
If you haven't done so already, please join the Catholic Advocacy Network to receive regular public policy updates—including Lansing Update—via email. For other news and information, follow MCC on Twitter, like MCC on Facebook, or visit MCC’s webpage.