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March 07, 2005 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-03-07

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 7, 2005 - 3A

.ON CAMPUS
Lecture kicks off
March art exhibit
y two artists
An art lecture by artists Anuradha
Mathur and Dilip da Cunha will take
place today at 6 p.m. in auditorium 2104
of the Art and Architecture building.
Their exhibit opens today and is sched-
.uled to run until March 25 in room 2106
ofthe Art and Architecture building
Film screening
part of Pride Week
"The Celluloid Closet" will be
screened tonight at 7 p.m. at University
Hillel. The film examines Hollywood's
portrayal of homosexuals. This event
*i cosponsored by the LGBT Commis-
sion and Ahava as part of Pride Week.
Reception marks
Asian Pacific
American Month
A reception to kick off Asian Pacific
American Heritage Month with a key-
note address by Margarita Alcantara-Tan,
an artist and activist in the Asian Pacific
American, LGBT and feminist commu-
nities will be given tonight at 7:30 in the
Pendelton Room of the Michigan Union.
Panelists to
discuss cultural
diversity in
graduate school
University faculty and graduate
students will discuss the challenges
international students face in adjusting
to a new culture while pursuing their
graduate studies.
The panel discussion will take
place today from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on
the fourth floor of the Horace H.
Rackham Building.

Medicaid cuts would affect thousands

Granholm's proposed cuts
would eliminate coverage for
hearing, speech therapy
LANSING (AP) - Lora Lee Phillips has had
three surgeries on her back and two operations to
remove extensive scar tissue from her uterus over
the past two years.
The state's Medicaid program covered those
procedures, the physical therapy that followed each
of her back surgeries and her prescription drugs.
"Medicaid pretty much saved my life," said Phil-
lips, a 28-year-old preschool teacher in Grand Blanc
who has degenerative disc disease. "I never would
have been able to get any of my surgeries without it
and that would have meant being stuck in a wheel-
chair - or worse, being paralyzed."
The situation could be different the next time
Phillips goes under the knife, this time to repair
a kneecap that frequently dislocates. She would
have to pay for her physical therapy and reduce her
prescriptions to four a month if state lawmakers
approve Gov. Jennifer Granholm's spending pro-
posal for Medicaid.
Phillips is one of 40,000 residents who get state
health coverage because they take care of a low-
income child or other relative covered by Medicaid.
The Democratic governor recommended limiting
coverage to such caretakers and to 19- and 20-year-
olds to help balance the budget.

The plan would limit hospital stays to 20 days a
year, require a $10 copay on emergency room vis-
its and limit prescriptions to four a month. It also
would eliminate coverage for hearing, speech and
physical therapy, occupational therapy and vision
services, starting Oct. 1.
No new 19- and 20-year-olds would be covered
by Medicaid after that date. The federal govern-
ment does not require Medicaid coverage for those
young adults.
The changes would save a combined $11.4 mil-
lion, with the state saving $5 million and the federal
government the remaining $6.4 million.
The measures are among several in Granholm's
budget proposals aimed at cutting Medicaid costs
while continuing coverage for groups the governor
considers the most vulnerable: the disabled, seniors,
children and pregnant women.
"She's really clear, even pounding on the
table, that she won't cut services to these
groups," state Community Health Department
spokesman T.J. Bucholz said. "When you look
at this budget and the work that we put into it
- and that so many people still are eligible for
Medicaid - it is remarkable given the hole that
we're looking at."
Without changes, the state $8.9 billion general
fund budget for the upcoming fiscal year is expected
to be $773 million in the red.
The increasing Medicaid caseload - now at a
record 1.4 million - is one reason this year's $8.8

billion general fund is short by $376 million.
The Granholm administration expects to spend
$6.1 billion to provide health care coverage this fis-
cal year and $6.9 billion to cover about 1.5 million
low-income recipients in the year ahead.
Republican legislative leaders would not comment
specifically on Granholm's Medicaid proposal.
But Rep. Bruce Caswell, a Hillsdale Republi-
can who heads the House Appropriations Com-
munity Health Subcommittee, said the panel will
begin looking over the governor's proposal and
taking testimony from the state and advocacy
groups this week.
Other states also are trying to keep their Medic-
aid programs afloat by proposing a variety of chang-
es. South Carolina is considering giving Medicaid
recipients control of a set amount of health care
money through a debit card. Some states are looking
at higher patient copays on prescription drugs.
Granholm and other governors met last month
with President Bush to push for Medicaid reforms.
Both Republicans and Democrats told the president
they do not support his proposals to reduce federal
Medicaid spending by $40 billion and limit some
payments to the states.
"We are ready and willing to discuss meaning-
ful reforms outside of the budget process that will
ultimately achieve efficiencies without jeopardiz-
ing health care to the vulnerable," said Granholm,
chairwoman of the National Governor's Association
health committee.

While Granholm's proposed Medicaid
changes would help the state save money,
some advocates for low-income adults worry
that cutting off health care to about 14,000 19-
and 20-year-olds a year will mean higher costs
down the road.
Sherri Solomon-Jozwiak, president and CEO
of Catholic Social Services of Lansing, said most
Medicaid recipients that age need state aid because
they are just getting out of foster care or the juvenile
justice system and may have missed getting primary
medical care as children.
Many also desperately need mental health servic-
es, she said. Without Medicaid, "they have a huge
barrier that they need to get over. They're going to
end up in the prison system if they're not treated."
Young adults also use Medicaid to get substance
abuse treatment, said Robin Reynolds, director of
Mid-South Substance Abuse Commission, which
oversees drug treatment in Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot,
Calhoun, Jackson, Hillsdale, Lenawee, Shiawassee
and Ingham counties.
Reynolds said there are other state and fed-
eral funds that can provide drug treatment for
low-income young adults, but they already are
stretched too far.
"It's getting harder and harder to serve all these
populations, and if you add one more it's going to
be even more difficult," she said. "I know Medicaid
is broke, but they always seem to choose the most
vulnerable populations" to cut.

House passes bill
requirng specia
emergency election

CRIME
NOTES

y'
f- t.

Package received
-Vwith marijuana
under investigation
A package received at the loading dock
area of Suite 400 of the South Industrial
Complex Friday contained marijuana, the
aepartment of Public Safety reported.
fTle package and its contents are under
*0:farther investigation.
Fire extinguisher
discharged in
residence hall
A fire extinguisher was discharged in
South Quad Residence Hall Saturday,
bIPS reported. The reason is still under
- Investigation. There was no reported
.fre in or surrounding the building.
Pump left on
0 causes damage to
vacuum chamber
.A caller reported to DPS that an ion
pump was left on at the Space Research
Building Friday causing damage to the
vacuum chamber of the pump..
THIS DAY
In Daily History
Students, faculty
protest U.S. aid to
El Salvador
March 7, 1981 - Demonstrators car-
rying signs demanding "Stop U.S. aid to
the murderous junta" and chanting "Stop
Reagan's cold war, U.S. out of El Salva-
dor" drew a crowd of approximately 250
students, professors and local residents
to a Spartacus Youth League-sponsored
rally held yesterday on the Diag.
.The people (of El Salvador) have
a right to decide what kind of govern-
ment is to run their own country," said
,a. spokesperson from the Latin Ameri-
can Solidarity Committee. "We must do
everything in our power to put an end to
this senseless murder."
'-Participants in the rally cited statis-
tics from a report that stated that 7,000
people in El Salvador - including left-
wing political activists, students, pro-
fessors. nnn and nriests - have been

WASHINGTON (AP) - Members
of Michigan's U.S. House delegation
engaged in feisty debate last week over
a bill that would require special elec-
tions if a catastrophic event killed 100
or more House members. In the Sen-
ate, Michigan's lawmakers voted for an
unsuccessful attempt to limit consumer
interest rates.
The House passed the special elec-
tion bill with a 329-68 vote Thursday. It
would require special elections within 49
days of an announcement by the House
speaker that there are more than 100
vacancies in the 435-member body.
Rep. John Cony-
ers (D-Detroit), was
the only Michigan "It is unco
lawmaker to vote
against the bill. to stack th
Conyers, who has
been investigating that Amer
voting irregularities fr
in Ohio, said the orced to N
bill should require rain in lin
states to provide a
minimum number others are
of functioning vot-
ing machines in any red carpet
special election.
"It is unconscio-
nable to stack the
deck so that Amer-
icans are forced to
wait in the rain in line while others are
given the red carpet treatment," Cony-
ers said.
Rep. Candice Miller, a Republican
from Macomb County's Harrison Town-
ship, said she also supports election
reform, but the current bill "is not the
time nor is it the place to be debating
election reform issues."
"We are here to provide for continuity
and representation of this House and the
American people," she said.
The election bill now goes to the
Senate, where a similar bill failed to
pass last year.
Michigan's House lawmakers split
along party lines Wednesday over a bill
that would allow religious groups par-
ticipating in federal job-training pro-
grams to hire employees based on their
religious beliefs.
The bill narrowly passed with a 224-
200 vote. All nine Michigan Republicans

voted for it and all six Democrats voted
against it.
Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Grand Rap-
ids), said his own church, Eastern Avenue
Christian Reformed Church in Grand
Rapids, started a community center that
deserves the federal support it gets. He
said job-training programs should get
that support, too.
"We did have and still largely do have
religious restrictions on the hiring of indi-
viduals, but the facility serves all people
in that community," Ehlers said.
Under current law, religious orga-
nizations that participate in federal

gnscionable
ie deck so
icans are
wait in the
e while
given the
treatment."
-Rep. John Conyers
(D-Detroit)

job-training
programs can-
not discriminate
in hiring or fir-
ing for taxpayer-
funded jobs. The
bill now heads to
thesSenate, which
has supported a
similar measure
in the past.
In the Sen-
ate, Michigan's
Democratic
Sens. Carl Levin
and Debbie Sta-
benow were part
of an unsuccess-
ful effort to limit

Vx

consumer interest rates. An amend-
ment to hold those rates to 30 per-
cent or lower failed to pass the Senate
Thursday by a 74-24 vote.
Democrats wanted the measure as
part of an overall bill that would make
it harder to declare personal bankrupt-
cy. But Republicans said the bill would
pre-empt state laws that already fix
interest rates.
Also Thursday, Sen. Trent Lott (R-
Miss.) remembered Detroit philanthro-
pist Max Fisher on the Senate floor.
Fisher died Thursday at age of 96.
"Max Fisher has been a great Ameri-
can statesman, a patriot, a public servant,
an entrepreneur, and community leader,"
Lott said. "I got to know him quite well
during the 1990s. I was able to visit with
him personally. I got to know his family.
I was so impressed with his commitment
to his family, his community, his people,
and his nation."

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