State Rep. Matt Lori speaks in Edwardsburg Tuesday night.

Archived Story

Lori leads off new speaker series

Published 10:15pm Tuesday, May 8, 2012


“Person-centered care” integrating services is Michigan’s strategy to pare health care costs, which Cassopolis Family Clinic will be positioned for with its $4.4 million grant for a new facility.

There are 200,000 sick people dual eligible for Medicaid and Medicare who account for an inordinate amount of resources. Components of coordinated care to avoid duplication include electronic records, programs such as MIChoice, which moves people from nursing facilities back home; children’s dental care; and PACE, a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and PHIPs (prepaid health insurance plans) allot set amounts versus more expensive fees for services.

State Rep. Matt Lori, R-Constantine, said 77 percent of emergency room visits do not qualify as emergencies.

Lori spoke to more than 60 people Tuesday night at American Legion Post 365 as the first in a six-month series designed as an antidote to apathy. It continues June 5 with Eileen Toney on Cass County business development.

For the past two years, Lori chaired the House Appropriations sub-committee for Community Health.

Programs include Medicaid health coverage for those with limited incomes; mental health services for people with a mental illness or developmental disability; services for individuals who need substance abuse treatment; and local public health programs.

The Department of Community Health provides services to promote the independence and preserve the dignity of Michigan’s elderly through the Office of Services to the Aging, but seniors receive 1 percent compared to 85 percent of the $15 billion DCH budget Medicaid consumes — comparable to Whirlpool sales and more than Kellogg’s $13 billion; 66 percent comes from federal funds.

From 1980 to 2000, the state Medicaid caseload increased 15 percent to 1.063 million. From 2000-2012 the state Medicaid caseload jumped 79 percent to 1.956 million.

Medicaid births rose from 35 percent in 2003 to 51 percent in 2010. Mental health services were provided to 227,020 in 2010, up from 184,708 in 2004. Autism spectrum disorders affect one in 110 children, or 4,447 of 489,000 kids ages 2 to 5 in 2010. The combination of seniors living longer — a third in poverty — and the baby boomer bulge will also burden budgets.

Lori touched on other trends. In 1998, revenue exceeded tax exemptions, credits and deductions by $6.8 billion. That reversed by 2008 to $6.3 billion less.

Rebounding Michigan anchors an “auto alley” emerged since 1980, when Detroit was responsible for 97 percent of light vehicle sales, compared to 55 percent. Plants along the coast closed and became more concentrated from Canada through the Midwest and into the South.

About Matt Lori

Elected 59th District state representative in 2008 for St. Joseph and most of Cass counties.

29 years in law enforcement, including 20 years as St. Joseph County sheriff in Centreville.

Bachelor’s degree in public administration from Western Michigan University. FBI National Academy graduate.

Eight years on Three Rivers Health Board of Directors.

Married to Linda, a retired teacher. Two adult sons.

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