MN Poor Get Better Health Care Sooner Than Expected

Good news for poor single adults waiting for the expansion of early medicare in Minnesota. The program will go into effect on March 1st, much earlier than previously predicted. That means in March 95,000 Minnesotans will have coverage under early expansion of Medicare. The program has better benefits than Minn Care and General Assistance Medical Care, and uses federal dollars instead of state dollars.

“Elections do matter.” said Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson.

“This is what happens when you put government on the side of the people, said Governor Mark Dayton.

Dayton and Jesson credited the “hard working” DHS employees who made this happen faster than what the Pawlenty administration said could be done. The Pawlenty administration said it couldn’t be done until October 1st.

Dayton promised a veto of any move by the legislature that would rescind the program. “This is what my sons would call a ‘no brainer.’

Reaction was swift from DFL legislators who had supported the expansion of early medicaid assistance.

State Senator Linda Berglin:
“Because of the Dayton Administration’s action to expedite the early Medicaid Opt-In, many Minnesotans receiving these services will benefit, as will health care providers who will finally receive fair compensation for the services they are rendering. By working together, we were able to help the Department of Human Services to find a way to administer the expedited program.”

Early Medicaid expansion will have an immediate effect on Minnesota, providing new and improved health care coverage to more than 95,000 Minnesotans, and creating or retaining 20,000 health care jobs. Benefits under the early Medicaid are more comprehensive than state-run programs; reimbursements to providers and hospitals will help them to provide better care at a fairer price.

This move will ease the burden of growing uncompensated care and charity care, which happens when uninsured individuals access health care in hospital emergency rooms and those costs get passed on to Minnesotans through higher health care costs.

Under the current system, the average family pays a hidden tax in the form of higher premiums and cost of care amounting to $1,017 per year to cover the cost of the uninsured. Early Medicaid will provide the funding necessary to drive market-wide payment reform – the best way to reduce future health care costs.”

Representative Erin Murphy:
“For months we have heard inaccurate and incomplete information from the previous administration about the cost and implementation of early MA. It’s a new day – Governor Dayton is working swiftly and honestly for Minnesotans. It’s a clear signal that government can work effectively for the people. This is progress for patients, providers, families and our future and it continues the important reform lessons we learned from GAMC. “

Representative Tom Huntley:
“Finally Minnesota is moving again. The Governor has taken control of the bureaucracy and is getting things done for the people of Minnesota.”