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Committee Chair: Vacant

Based on EPI, 2011 and EHDI, 2013 reports

  • Many of Minnesota.s most vulnerable populations, including the elderly, those with disabilities and low-income families with children, are being asked to help balance the state.s budget through $1 billion in cuts to health and human services in the final 2011 budget,
  • The health and human services bill also contains provisions that will increase barriers for low-income families trying to work, for the elderly and people with disabilities who want to stay in their homes and for Minnesotans trying to access health care, and
  • As a result of the final budget, working parents and other low-income Minnesotans will face challenges in building a more secure economic future.
  • Minnesota was consistently first or second in national health rankings. But in recent years Minnesota has fallen to as low as sixth. Reasons for this include the health differences that exist in Minnesota between white populations and populations of color and American Indians. Minnesota has some of the worst income, employment, and health disparities in the country. Many of Minnesota.s populations of color and American Indians lack the same opportunities to be healthy because of factors such as economic instability, unsafe neighborhoods, and inadequate access to health care. These differences ultimately result in poorer health outcomes, shorter life spans, higher health care costs, and lost productivity. Minnesota.s populations of color and American Indians have grown from just over 6 percent of the total population in 1990 to almost 17 percent in 2012. The Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) was established by a legislative mandate in 2001. The EHDI investment in 2010 was approximately $5 per person of color or American Indian in Minnesota, a relatively small amount compared to the $6,913 spent on health care per Minnesotan in 2009.

COBM’s Healthcare Disparity Eradication Initiative which includes the following:

  1. Establish ombudsman to work within the minority communities to help residents navigate the state insurance exchange,
  2. Fund medical clinics in minority communities to help residents navigate the state insurance exchange, and
  3. Authorize the reenactment of the Martin Luther King Non-violent Child Development Act.
  4. Expand funding for the EHDI to support minority run health care professional associations to carry out the following:
    1. Collaborative mental health services to minorities residents,
    2. Collaborative, holistic, and culturally competent health care services in communities with high concentrations of minority residents, or
    3. Collaborative recruitment, training and placement of minorities in the health care service industry.
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