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ST. PAUL, MN – This afternoon, Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson is testifying before the Senate Health, Human Services and Housing Committee, discussing Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposal to expand Medical Assistance (MA) eligibility. Expanding MA would provide quality health coverage for more than 145,000 Minnesotans, including 47,000 children and pregnant women and 98,000 low-income adults.
One of Governor Dayton’s first acts in office was signing an executive order expanding access to MA for 83,000 low-income Minnesotans. In doing so, the governor provided access to quality health care coverage for those who need it most – reducing the burden of uncompensated care on hospitals and saving an estimated 20,000 health care sector jobs.
The governor’s Budget for a Better Minnesota builds on that progress, covering more uninsured Minnesotans, maximizing federal funding for public health care programs, and simplifying the enrollment process. The Governor’s budget ensures that taxpayer dollars for public health programs are well-spent, including new reforms that would make it easier for eligible Minnesotans to obtain and keep MA coverage, as well as savings of $59 million from negotiating lower rates for managed care contracts.
Minnesota is already estimated to save $1.3 billion over five years as a result of the Affordable Care Act. In addition to expanding MA eligibility, the governor’s budget would implement ACA measures that improve coverage and service in our publicly-funded health care programs.
Effective January 1, 2014, Governor Dayton’s budget proposes several changes that expand MA eligibility for Minnesotans:
Number of People Affected (FY2015)