Health coverage expanded for 35,000 Minnesotans
ST Paul, MN – Today, Governor Mark Dayton signed legislation that will provide access to quality health care coverage for an additional 35,000 low-income adults. The bill (HF9/SF5), authored by Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL-Duluth) and Sen. Kathy Sheran (DFL-Mankato), takes advantage of a key component of the federal Affordable Care Act, which allows states to expand Medical Assistance (MA) eligibility.
State Senator Foung Hawj (DFL-St. Paul) was a Senate co-author of the MA expansion bill. Following the signing he commented, “It is an honor to be part of legislation that dramatically increases access to quality healthcare for thousands of Minnesotans. This was one of the first bills I signed onto after coming to the Senate and I am eager to see how this expansion positively affects residents of St. Paul’s East Side.”
The MA eligibility expansion bill signed today provides $129 million in projected savings for the 2014-15 biennium. This is in addition to the $1.3 billion Minnesota is already expected to save as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
“Minnesotans who will be covered by this legislation desperately need better quality health care,” said Governor Dayton. “Instead of taking their health crises to emergency rooms, thousands of low-income children, families, and individuals will be able to see doctors sooner and live healthier lives.”
This legislation builds upon the important healthcare progress Minnesota has already made by covering more uninsured residents, maximizing federal funding for public healthcare programs, and simplifying the enrollment process. Providing coverage for more people will reduce the hidden tax passed onto insured Minnesotans to pay for uncompensated care.