Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
and improve health care system
The recount has concluded and Governor Dayton is set to take over Jan. 3.
As one of his first actions as Governor, Dayton has signaled he will enroll Minnesota in early MA, infusing about $1.2 billion in federal dollars into local hospitals and care providers to cover thousands of Minnesotans currently served under General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC). State Rep. Larry Hosch (DFL ÐSt. Joseph) said the news is welcome to the St. Cloud regional economy.
"Early MA has the practical effect of injecting needed resources into St. Cloud's health care economy and other care providers throughout the state," said Hosch. "At a time when our economy is our number one priority, this is going to mean new jobs at a critical time."
The option to enroll in early MA was granted to Minnesota and other high performing health care states within the Affordable Care Law. Early MA will cover adults currently enrolled in the triaged General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) program and a portion of those on MinnesotaCare (both which are paid for by 100 percent state dollars) with matching federal resources. As a result, St. Cloud Hospital stands to gain $11 million in reimbursements. Hosch said St. Cloud Hospital has struggled with declining resources and increased uncompensated care and that early MA is a good deal for providers, patients and taxpayers.
"This solution means we can patch our health care safety net and stop the shifting onto private payers through higher health care premiums and property taxes," said Hosch. "It also allows us to capture the tax dollars we all send to Washington D.C., which we currently only get $.72 back for every dollar we send, and put them to good use creating jobs and providing quality health care in our communities."
Early MA enrollment will also make next year's budget decisions easier by significantly reducing the projected shortfall in the Health Care Access Fund by nearly $500 million dollars. That fund currently provides health care to nearly 200,000 working families in Minnesota. According to the recent budget forecast, early MA will actually cost the state about $50 million less than covering the same population exclusively through MinnesotaCare.
Rep. Hosch expressed his hope of an effective relationship with both the new legislative majorities and Governor Dayton.
"We have a lot of important work to do in the coming months to strengthen our economy and balance the state budget shortfall," said Hosch. "I am very hopeful today is the first step in the right direction."
Rep. Larry Hosch can be reached at (651) 296-4373 or