Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Conferees plan more ‘heavy lifting’

Published (5/6/2011)
By Hank Long
Share on: 

Conferees began working on the details of the House and Senate omnibus health and human services finance bill (HF927/ SF760*) and plan to tackle some of the substantive differences next week, said Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie).

“We will be doing more heavy lifting next week,” Hann said during a May 3 hearing where conferees adopted several technical language differences between the House and Senate bills. Hann chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Major issues conferees expect to discuss include the Consumer Health Opportunities and Innovative Care Excellence (CHOICE) flexibility and funding Medicaid reform initiative, which House Health and Human Services Finance Committee Chairman Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) introduced as a more developed definition of the $300 million federal global Medicaid waiver included in the House bill. Abeler and House Health and Human Services Reform Committee Chairman Steve Gottwalt (R-St. Cloud) said they are working toward key reform concepts and objectives, including pay-for-value and care coordination to reduce costs and improve outcomes for public program recipients.

“Right now the door to Minnesota-made reform is closed,” Abeler said. “CHOICE is the key that opens the door for us to move forward with nation-leading reforms to reduce costs and improve outcomes for the people we serve.”

Gottwalt said reforms offered in the bill, including the CHOICE initiative, “transform the current system into a person-centered model that drives value, harnesses innovation and improves quality of care and quality of life for health care consumers.”

Late last month Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson wrote a letter to the committee detailing 41 concerns she has about the bills that outline $1.6 billion in cuts to projected General Fund spending in the next biennium. Gov. Mark Dayton’s health and human services budget proposal includes an $851 million reduction in projected General Fund health and human services spending.

Gottwalt said the committee wants to hear more from the Dayton administration. “We simply need more money to continue to do the things we are doing,” he said.

 Abeler said the job of committee members has been to “prioritize spending and focus on people instead of programs.

“We take this responsibility to heart, and hope the Dayton administration will join our work.”

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

A positive balance
Omnibus health care law focuses on reform, restoring cuts and delaying pending cuts
(view full story) Published 5/25/2012

Looking out for children and families
Law offers new safe haven option for newborns; addresses adoption and child safety
(view full story) Published 5/25/2012

Caring for those who care for others
Omnibus health and human services bill remains a moving target
(view full story) Published 3/30/2012

Nursing home funding models
Should residents who can afford to, pay more?
(view full story) Published 3/23/2012

Minnesota Index: Smoking in the state
Facts and statistics on tobacco use in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 3/16/2012

Reform measures draw support
Health and human services reductions draw sharp DFL rebuke
(view full story) Published 8/11/2011

Delivery of health and human services
Governor says proposal puts too many people in health care jeopardy
(view full story) Published 7/15/2011

Surgical precision
HHS budget — end-of-session sticking point
(view full story) Published 5/20/2011

Advocating for patients and constituents
Nurses as legislators add their perspective to health care issues
(view full story) Published 5/13/2011

Aiming for reform
House approves omnibus health and human services finance bill
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

Omnibus game and fish bill approved
Deer hunting, two-line fishing provisions push people’s buttons
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

Care for underserved communities
Community paramedic program is a ‘first of its kind’ proponents say
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

A hand up in climb out of poverty
Bipartisan initiative looks to fund expansion of ‘Circles of Support’ program
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Feature: A healthier Minnesota
Long-term savings the goal of statewide improvement plan
(view full story) Published 2/4/2011

At Issue: No access for all
Report says more oversight needed of state-funded non-emergency transportation
(view full story) Published 2/4/2011