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Michigan Seeks Medicaid Waiver for Flint Crisis

By Marissa Evans, CQ Roll Call

February 19, 2016 -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, caught up in a national uproar over lead-tainted water in Flint, is exploring all possible sources of federal aid—including Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

While the state expanded Medicaid coverage for 605,000 low-income residents in April 2014, Snyder this month filed for a new federal waiver that would allow 15,000 additional Flint residents to be covered. The Republican governor says more coverage for young patients and pregnant women "will mitigate the risks of lead exposure and result in better identifying any long-term health challenges, including behavioral issues."

Under the waiver, beneficiaries would have access to doctors, behavioral health specialists, nutrition support and other education and social services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is reviewing the request.

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