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Rural cooperative contract (vetoed)

Published (5/30/2008)
By Patty Ostberg
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The human services commissioner would have had oversight of rural health care cooperatives, under a bill vetoed by the governor.

Sponsored by Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester) and Sen. Ann Lynch (DFL-Rochester), the bill would have directed the commissioner to assign those under the age of 65 with no insurance, to the county-based purchasing health plan in Olmsted, Winona, Houston, Fillmore and Mower counties, if the individual resides there.

The change is needed for federal approval and would have expanded the choice of health care options for clients in those five counties, Lynch said.

There would have been no cost to the state because of a $2,000 fee assessed to health care cooperatives for oversight.

In his veto message, Pawlenty said the change would give preference to county-based purchasing plans instead of assigning enrollees among all participating plans. “Statutorily mandated preferences in this fashion decreases competition between managed care plans and diminished the Department of Human Services’ ability to purchase health care on a statewide competitive basis.”


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