Michigan children's health care programs risk losing federal funding and shutting down

Michigan children's health care programs risk losing federal funding and shutting down.

Two major healthcare programs are at risk of losing money after federal funding expired for the children's health insurance program on Sept. 30th.

Federal dollars for community health centers also expired.

In Michigan, there are 680,000 residents who rely on health centers and 100,000 children who rely on Mi Child for health care.

If nothing is done in Congress by January 1, U. S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says families will begin to get notices that their healthcare insurance could be dropped.

There are more than 45 healthcare centers with 300 locations in Michigan, including Intercare in West Michigan.

Intercare Community Care Health CEO Velma Hendershott said, "I know that people's lives are being impacted everyday by the clinician that seen them whether it's a physician, a dentist, a social worker, a behavioral health specialist."

Her major concern is the federal dollars her health center uses to help clinics provide care to uninsured and underserved people won't be renewed by Congress.

Stabenow is calling on the senate majority leader to bring her bipartisan bills up for a vote immediately.

She said, "What I think is really unfortunate is that we have families calling my office very concerned are they going to be able to continue to treat their kids with diabetes. We should not be playing games with this. This is personal for people. It's not political. It's about people's health care: taking your child to the doctor, getting the care that you need or your mom and dad need."

Stabenow said 70 percent of the money that ran out goes to fund community health centers.

"This is the majority of their funding," Hendershott said.

Hendershott said, "I look at my federal grant which is close to $8 million. If I look at a 70 percent cut in that that brings me down to a little under $2 million, which makes me have to determine what I'm going to be able to do or not do, primarily not do in providing care to our patients."

Stabenow and Hendershott are urging people to call their lawmakers on capitol hill so hundreds of thousands of people will have healthcare in the new year.