Harmful legislation was introduced in the Michigan Legislature May 11 that proposes mandated nursing staffing ratios, which would exacerbate existing shortages and restrict important access to healthcare services for Michigan patients.
The MHA voiced their public opposition to the bill package immediately following its introduction in a media statement, in conjunction with the Michigan Organization for Nursing Leadership (MONL). Since that time, the MHA has shared its position with all members of the Michigan Legislature and have been in frequent communication with legislative leadership to express the implications of this legislation and how it fails to solve the root cause of nurse staffing shortages.
The MHA is specifically advocating to oppose Senate Bills 334 – 336 and House Bills (HBs) 4550 – 4552, while asking for practical solutions for nursing shortages, which include:
- Michigan joining the national Nurse Licensure Compact to allow out-of-state nurses to move to and practice in Michigan immediately.
- Increasing eligibility for Michigan Reconnect by lowering the age requirement to 18 and older.
- Expanding Michigan Reconnect availability to include 4-year institutions.
- Increasing penalties for violence committed against healthcare workers.
An action alert is available in the MHA Legislative Action Center of the MHA website to complement the advocacy work of the MHA and member hospitals and health systems. This alert provides a drafted message to be sent to specific lawmakers once demographic information is provided. Members are encouraged to use and share this tool with appropriate stakeholders to help lawmakers understand the magnitude of this issue for hospitals.
The MHA is already conducting social and traditional media efforts, as well as advocacy work, on this critical issue. These efforts will continue through the next several weeks and potentially through the rest of the year.
In other legislative news, bills to make improvements to Michigan’s Medicaid expansion law were advanced from the House Health Policy Committee. HBs 4495 and 4496 were introduced by Rep. Will Snyder (D-Muskegon) and Rep. Graham Filler (R-Clinton County) and are supported by the MHA. The bills are intended to lower out of pocket costs and improve the experience for Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries by streamlining and removing sections that have proven to be arbitrarily penalizing, difficult to administer or otherwise ineffective at improving health outcomes. The bills now head to the House Floor for further consideration.
Members with questions about state legislation may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.