Minnesota Legislation Would Overhaul State's Health Care System

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The Minnesota House on Thursday voted 83-50 to approve legislation that would overhaul the state's health care system using money from a fund that helps pay for a subsidized health care program, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Under the bill, low-income individuals would receive subsidies to help pay for employer-sponsored health coverage. Individuals with incomes less than 300% of the federal poverty level would pay no more than 6% of their incomes on health care with the state paying the remainder. Individuals with annual incomes up to 400% of the poverty level would contribute no more than 8%.

The bill also would create a system to measure the cost and quality of care provided at clinics and hospitals and to publish the information. Physicians' pay would then be linked to quality measures. The bill also would launch a statewide campaign to reduce obesity and smoking.

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The legislation would cost $400 million over the next four years and would be funded by the state's Health Care Access Fund, which also helps pay for MinnesotaCare, a state health care program for low-income residents. The fund is financed by a tax on health care providers. The state Senate has approved a broader measure to overhaul the health care system, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) has threatened to veto the bill (Wolfe,
Minneapolis Star Tribune, 4/10).


Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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