The Senate’s proposal fails to maintain service levels overall and makes significant reductions to investments that are critical to children’s health and mental health in the Health and Human Services budget, which is supposed to provide core support to the well-being of North Carolinians and health of communities statewide.
Here is an overview of key areas:
- Increases by less than $150,000 the state’s appropriation to improve Medicaid timeliness by supporting staff to analyze caseload data and develop performance standards.
- Funds a Medicaid Analytics Pilot at $1.25 million.
- Cuts various contract services on a department-wide basis by $3.2 million.
- Commits just $300,000 to Project CARE support for Alzheimer’s Patients and their Families and $200,000 for a No Wrong Door Initiative in the Division of Aging and Adult Services.
- Eliminates the state’s increased commitment to NC Pre-K ($6.4 million) and Child Care Subsidy ($3.6 million) and instead applies federal funds to these purposes so that current service levels are maintained.
- Provides $8.4 million in funding for the Program Improvement Plan as a result of the recent review of child welfare.
- Provides $600,000 in funds for a pilot effort to increase access to Food and Nutrition Services for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid through outreach and assistance.
- Increases funding for the Nurse Family Partnership Program by $400,000 in non-recurring funds.
- Reduces Cherry Hospital Operating costs after delays in construction by $3 million and eliminates funding for the Wright School by $2.1 million to bring their appropriation to $0.
- Provides $2 million in non-recurring funds to establish one or two child facility-based crisis centers.
- Provides $1 million for support to Alzheimer’s patients and their families.
- Reinstates adult optical eye exams with appropriation of $2.1 million.
- Shifts the Health Choice rebase from recurring to non-recurring funds.
Examples of what is missing from the Senate’s budget in health and human services:
- Fails to implement Governor’s Task Force for Mental Health and Substance Use recommendations or enhance the community health system’s delivery of mental services.
- Fails to expand Medicaid to 500,000 North Carolinians.
- Fails to make progress on child care subsidy rate.
- Does not expand access to NC Pre-K and child care subsidies that provide quality early education opportunities for young children’s healthy development.