Governor's latest offer suggests more cuts to health and human services

The Governor released a surprisingly mean-spirited offer this morning, targeting Minnesota’s most vulnerable for additional budget cuts.

On Monday, the Governor made an offer to take only $125 million from the Health Care Access Fund (instead of $250 million in his original budget proposal), in exchange for $125 million in other budget reductions. This morning, the Governor released a new shot across the bow, suggesting that if he makes the choice, the additional $125 million would come from cuts to health and human service programs.

He listed the following options specifically:

  • “Reductions in General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) eligibility. This is a worthwhile safety net program, but is duplicated in part by MinnesotaCare.”
  • “Reductions in benefits or eligibility in Medical Assistance programs. This is a difficult option but the large rates of growth in these programs limit investments in other priorities.”
  • “Other reductions in health and human services grants and programs.”

These recommendations target populations that should only be harmed as a last resort. For example, GAMC is a safety net for very low-income people with disabilities, as well as uninsured individuals with catastrophic medical needs. If the Governor intends to target growth in Medical Assistance, that would most likely impact long term care and services for people with disabilities. This offer could be an unfortunate setback in negotiations.

-Christina Wessel

About Christina Wessel

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