St. Paul, MN – The Senate Republican Health and Human Services Omnibus bill passed early Wednesday morning uses budget shifts and gimmicks in an attempt to show that the provider tax is not needed. However, it succeeds only in making deep cuts to health care programs and creating a $700 million gap in funding for healthcare in Minnesota’s state budget. In response, Senator John Marty (DFL-Roseville), ranking minority member on the Senate Health and Human Services committee released the following statement:
“This is a misguided bill that includes harmful cuts to childcare and healthcare for many Minnesotans. If the Senate Republican Health and Human Services bill were to become law it would have a devastating effect on hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans and their ability to receive high-quality healthcare, keep access to needed childcare, and lead healthy and independent lives.
This bill eliminates the Childcare Assistance Program in 2021, affecting 30,000 children, forcing parents to quit work or leave their children in unsafe settings. It eliminates much-needed dental and vision care for low-income adults on medical assistance – resulting in higher medical bills and additional emergency room visits. Equally troubling, the cap on enrollment in disability service programs would prevent over 6,000 people from accessing services, and over 3,000 people would be denied PCA (personal care attendant) services, resulting in a lower quality of living and higher future costs as people are forced into nursing homes.
This bill fails the moral test of caring for our most vulnerable neighbors. It slashes services that people depend on. Rather than showing fiscal responsibility, these shortsighted cuts might well drive up future spending.”