Governor's budget would mean more uninsured

The Governor and his staff have been claiming that his supplemental budget won’t cause anyone to lose eligibility for public health insurance that currently has it. I guess that all depends on how you look at it.

It’s true that the Governor doesn’t make any cuts to public health insurance eligibility as it is at this moment. Instead, his budget finds savings by eliminating some improvements that were carefully negotiated in the 2007 Legislative Session.

For example:

  • Last session, changes were made to assure children a smoother transition from Medical Assistance to MinnesotaCare as their parents’ income increases. The Governor would repeal this additional coverage, meaning 20,000 children would lose their health insurance.
  • Policymakers also approved a significant investment in outreach grants to ensure that people who are eligible for public health care programs are actually getting enrolled. The Governor would eliminate this outreach program, meaning an estimated 10,000 people will go uninsured.
  • The final agreement last session also expanded eligibility for MinnesotaCare for adults without children from 200% of the federal poverty guidelines (FPG) to 215% of FPG. The Governor repeals this expansion, leaving an estimated 990 adults without health insurance.

According to the latest U.S. Census figures, 439,000 Minnesotans lack health insurance. The Governor’s proposal certainly won’t help us chip away at that number – especially when he uses most of the revenues in the Health Care Access Fund ($250 million) to plug the deficit hole instead of providing affordable health insurance for working families.

-Christina Wessel

About Christina Wessel

Christina served as the Minnesota Budget Project's deputy director until January 2014.
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