ST. PAUL – House Democrats on Thursday are expected to pass their Health and Human Services Finance bill (H.F. 2414) which increases health care costs, cuts funding to nursing homes and fails to prevent rampant fraud in Minnesota's childcare and other public programs.
The bill includes an extension of the health care provider tax that will add more than $2 billion to the cost of Minnesotans’ health care over the next four years, and includes changes to nursing home reimbursement rates that result in $68 million in cuts to Minnesota nursing facilities.
“There are so many bad parts of this bill it’s hard to know where to begin unraveling this mess,” said Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston. “You don’t reduce health care costs by raising taxes on health care and it’s an absolute shame Democrats are looking to cut funding for nursing homes at a time the state has a $1 billion surplus.”
Green said Democrats also included minimal changes to combat rampant fraud in public programs. They blocked or rejected Republican efforts to strengthen program integrity, prevent fraud, and increase penalties for fraudsters. This session, Democrats failed to hold hearings on reports from the non-partisan legislative auditor on fraud in the Child Care Assistance Program and did not provide hearings to numerous Republican-backed bills to crack down fraud and address recommendations in the OLA reports.
“At more than 1,100 pages, the bill is believed to be the largest bill in state history, yet Democrats can’t find room to root out fraud in child care and other programs,” Green said. “Talk about a lack of priorities. I will continue advocating to reduce health care costs, help the elderly and protect taxpayers from fraud.”