MN House Committee Approves Seeking Federal Health Care Waiver

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The Minnesota House Health and Human Services Committee approves House File 927 on a 11-9 vote. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee is scheduled to work on the bill Friday at 8:30 am. That meeting will include public testimony and is expected to go into the evening.

Here is Marisa Wojcik’s report from yesterday’s House HHS hearings:

The House Health and Human Services committee received testimony Wednesday regarding House File 927, the omnibus bill attempting to sort out financial steps forward for Minnesota Health Care. Throughout the seven-hour hearing 91 people testified. There was no webcast, video or audio when committee began proceedings at 8:15 a.m. in Capital Room 118. The hearing came at a crucial time. Governor Dayton sent out a press release issuing an executive order over the bill. The order stipulated four provisions the bill must follow. Recently there have been concerns over areas in the bill that are redundant as well as areas where the bill contradicts itself. Representative Jim Abeler acknowledged in the hearing that some items in the bill potentially violate federal law.

Dayton’s order requires that information audits be conducted to insure accuracy. Additionally, the order said a website must be established to act as a transparent information hub for the public. Health care providers must also report back to the commissioner on managed care contracts for “better understanding.” During the morning the Capital Room 118 was full and additional people attempting to enter were turned away until a new seat was available. The UpTake’s reporter and camera didn’t have issues entering the room. Due to overflow the committee moved to the basement hearing room of the State Office Building around 9:30 a.m.

The committee will reconvene tomorrow beginning at noon to hold final deliberations over the bill. A vote will automatically be called by 11:45 p.m. if discussion is still being held.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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