In-depth reporting on the intersection between public policy and important health topics ‒ such as insurance coverage, hospital admissions, opioid abuse, access to care, medical research and the business of health care ‒ that impact nearly every Michigan resident.
In emotional testimony, the head of a group advising lawmakers on the drug crisis says state officials are thwarting its efforts. Transparency concerns follow complaints local governments aren’t moving fast enough.
The county moved with urgency to direct opioid settlement funds to help addicts. But subsequent disagreement highlights a tension between law enforcement and treatment that will likely be repeated statewide.
Local officials say there are ‘sharks in the water,’ as companies pitching everything from $7,400 vending machines to $200,000 body scanners seek contracts from the opioid settlement money coming to Michigan.
Michigan is receiving about $1.5 billion over 18 years, with about $725 million going to cities and counties. Some will receive a larger share of opioid settlement, based on how hard they’ve been hit by the crisis.
A landmark lawsuit settlement will pour $1.5 billion into Michigan, almost half of it directly to communities. But local governments have been slow to spend the money, and transparency questions dog efforts to fight the drug scourge.
Kelsey Warshefski, 41, said she’s suffered years of seizures, mini-strokes and fatigue. She can no longer run, work or romp with her son. She’s among a growing number of patients suing after disability claims were denied.
The state spent $148,000 on a racial equity group to offer advice on how to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in opioid settlement funds. But after issuing recommendations, the group said it was ‘silenced.’