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Health Department Asks Counties for More Support

The Baraga County Board of Commissioners has heard first-hand about a need for more money for the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department.

At last night’s meeting, health officer Kate Beer said reductions in Medicaid reimbursement have reduced revenue. A growing unfunded liability for legacy retirement programs is hogging a larger percentage of the money that remains.

Beer says they’ve tightened their belt…

“We’ve made certain cuts. We’ve tried to revamp the staff. But still, we’re trying to provide public health for a region that covers 70,000 people.”

The Health Department is asking the boards of the five counties it serves for a $25,000 annual funding increase. Baraga County’s share of that would be around $3,600. The board took the request under advisement.

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