House and Senate have released HHS proposals

Both the House and Senate Health and Human Services omnibus proposals have now been released.

  • The House bill language and spreadsheet that have been posted on the committee website (look under “Committee Documents”).
  • The Senate does not appear to have the bill or spreadsheet on the web yet. In fact, Senator Berglin still needs to put some finishing touches on the bill. However, I’ve scanned my copy of the spreadsheet (from Friday morning) if you would like to take a look. Berglin said this is the longest spreadsheet ever at 34 pages!

We’re working on a more comprehensive analysis of the House and Senate omnibus bills, but here are a few important differences from the Governor’s proposal (if you want more background on these issues, check out our analysis of the Governor’s budget proposal):

  • The House and Senate do not merge the Health Care Access Fund with the general fund.
  • They do not cut eligibility for public health care for parents and adults without children.
  • They do not eliminate coverage for dental, chiropractic, podiatry, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, physical therapy and audiology services.
  • They leave in place a scheduled reduction in MinnesotaCare premiums and reforms which help children transition more seamlessly from Medical Assistance to MinnesotaCare.
  • They do not restructure General Assistance Medical Care to cover only outpatient benefits.

Needless to say, there is other good stuff in these bills…and some bad stuff. If you are one of the experts, I encourage you to post a comment to this blog sharing the positives and negatives you are aware of. Your feedback will help us as we put together our analysis of the bills.

What happens next for these two bills? The House omnibus bill is waiting to be heard on Friday in the Rules Committee (because it missed the deadline) and Ways & Means. From there it will go to the House floor. The Senate Health and Human Services committee is supposed to wrap up today and the bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Saturday at 1 pm. From there it goes to the Senate floor.

-Christina Wessel

About Christina Wessel

Christina served as the Minnesota Budget Project's deputy director until January 2014.
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One Response to House and Senate have released HHS proposals

  1. Jessica Webster says:

    From the perspective of protecting the safety net for low-income families, there is no contest between these two bills.

    While the House bill adopts nearly all of the Governor’s proposed cuts to MFIP and the consolidated fund, Senator Berglin uses creativity and TANF stimulus dollars to avoid all devastating cuts to MFIP and many to child care. She places more money into emergency assistance and supported work. She funds MFIP proposals that will be critical in tough economic times: a temporary suspension of the 60-month time limit, allowing new moms on MFIP to care for children up to 12 months in age (rather than 12 weeks) without facing penalties for not following a strict employment plan, and protecting ill and disabled MFIP participants from being inappropriately sanctioned as they wait to get into Family Stabilization Services (SF422).

    The bills almost represent two entirely different worlds — one that will punish and one that will protect and support.

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