Sen. Reinert Applauds Governor For Signing Health Care Initiative

Senator Roger Reinert today praised Governor Mark Dayton for signing an Executive Order that will change the state’s Medicaid program and bring approximately $1.2 billion to Minnesota to help struggling hospitals provide better health care, create jobs and generate business activity.
Sen. Reinert was on hand for the signing in the Governor’s Reception Room at the Capitol.
“I’m pleased that Governor Dayton has the best interests of Minnesotans in mind as he applies for these funds that will have an immediate positive effect on our state, provide improved health care to more than 95,000 Minnesotans, save the state money and create much-needed jobs to boost the economy,” said Sen. Reinert.
By participating in this early enrollment plan, the state can preserve the MinnesotaCare program for parents, children and the working poor, pay a higher percent of the costs to hospitals providing care for our poorest population, and reduce the state’s financial obligation in providing these programs. The federal government will pick up half the cost that the state pays for health care for the poorest citizens.
“This helps us get a better return on our investments,” Sen. Reinert noted. “It means thousands of Minnesotans will have early treatment rather than be forced to use more expensive emergency room services for care.”
Those un-reimbursed emergency room costs are generally paid for through local property taxes and higher insurance premium rates.
Reports estimate that the average family will pay a hidden tax of $1,017 annually to cover the costs of the uninsured. The early Medicaid enrollment option will provide the funding necessary to drive market-wide payment reform.
“This is the best way to reduce future health care costs and will also boost our economy.”
The Families USA Foundation estimates that the additional funding through early enrollment will create 22,000 jobs statewide, generate $2.7 billion in business activity and produce $984 million in salaries and wages in Minnesota.
Unfortunately, area hospitals will receive roughly 15 percent less in additional funding because Governor Pawlenty refused to apply for the funds as soon as they were available last summer.
St. Luke’s Hospital will receive about $6.65 million in additional funds. St. Mary’s Medical Center will receive about $9.84 million and Miller Dawn Medical Center about $3.57 million. All three hospitals are located in Duluth and are major employers as well as quality care providers.
“This is a definite win-win for Minnesota and I applaud Governor Dayton for caring for those in need of quality health care,” Sen. Reinert said. “I also applaud him for realizing that this will create jobs and generate business activity at a time when we need to do everything possible to boost our state’s struggling economy.”

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Senator Roger Reinert
Roger Reinert represents District 7, which includes St. Louis County. He is also an educator.

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