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St. Paul, Minnesota – State health care leaders gathered with the new Governor in his reception room to applaud his signature of an executive order that will cover 95,000 Minnesotans and create thousands of Minnesota jobs. Lawmakers called it a significant moment for patients, providers, ratepayers and the future of health care in Minnesota.
“We turned a page and made Minnesota a better place today," said Murphy. “This allows us to repair our fractured health care system, provide quality care to the uninsured, and deliver that care without shifting the cost onto hospitals and health care premiums.”
The option to enroll in early MA was granted to Minnesota and other high performing health care states within the Affordable Care Law. MA will cover adults currently enrolled in the triaged General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) program and a portion of those on MinnesotaCare with matching federal resources. As a result, Minnesota care providers could capture more than $1 billion in federal dollars. State Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL – Duluth) said the resources will inject needed resources into hospitals that will create jobs for hospitals throughout the state that have been hurt as a result of the pared back GAMC program.
“Our number one priority this session is jobs,” said Huntley. “With the Governor’s signature today, as many as 20,000 health care workers in Minnesota will either keep their job or be hired for new jobs. Early Medical Assistance works for patients, works for health care providers and puts Minnesotans back to work.”
Along with creating jobs, MA enrollment will support the Legislatures other top priority this session – balancing the state budget deficit. Enrollment will reduce the projected shortfall in the Health Care Access Fund by nearly $500 million dollars. That fund currently provides health care to nearly 200,000 working families in Minnesota. And according to the recent budget forecast, MA will cost the state about $32 million less than covering the same population exclusively through MinnesotaCare.
"Right now, we're spending money on a broken safety net program that is failing Minnesota taxpayers,” said State Sen. Linda Berglin (DFL – Minneapolis). “Governor Dayton’s actions today will allow us to replace this broken system while expanding and improving care to 95,000 poor and sick Minnesotans, at no additional cost to the state. We shouldn't keep pouring money into a failing program. We should invest our money in a way that provides the best return for Minnesota families."
At the executive order signing Tea Party Republicans were invited by Governor Dayton to voice their concerns with what they termed “Obamacare.” Later legislative Republicans followed suit in a separate press conference. Murphy applauded Dayton for inviting all voices to be heard, but questioned the Republicans rhetoric, specifically pointing to the fact that Medical Assistance is state/federal program that has been existence since 1965.
“We saw a great display of democracy in action today,” said Murphy. “However while everyone is entitled to their opinion, no one is entitled to their own facts. Beyond the rhetoric, MA is a good deal for Minnesota patients, it eliminates cost shifts that hurt middle class ratepayers and it provides the bridge to continue improving Minnesota’s health care system.”
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