Minnesota May Approve Health Care Legislation

Armen Hareyan's picture

Minnesota lawmakers this week are expected toapprove legislation that is expected to reduce health care spending in thestate by 20% by 2015 and extend coverage to an additional 47,000 residents, butthe bill could face a veto by Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), the Minneapolis StarTribunereports.

The plan would cost about $49 million in 2009. Long-term savings could be ashigh as $12 billion from reducing obesity, smoking rates and the number ofuninsured. Savings also would come from publicizing price and quality data onhospitals and physicians, as well as other efforts. About $20 million of the2009 funding would come from insurers and health care providers to fundprograms that aim to reduce obesity and smoking rates. The remaining $29million would come from the state's Health Care Access Fund.

Pawlenty spokesperson Brian McClung said that the governor does not support thebill because it would not offset the cost of extending health insurance to moreresidents. McClung also said that lawmakers "know that a veto is among theoptions" if they proceed with the legislation. Pawlenty is scheduled tomeet with state House Speaker Anderson Kelliher (DFL) and House Minority LeaderMarty Seifert (R) to discuss the bill and other budget issues (Lopez/Wolfe, Minneapolis StarTribune, 3/25).

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