Minnesota Lawmakers Seek Suspension Of Proposed Medicaid Rule
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) have introduced bills to suspend a proposed federal Medicaid rule that would reduce funding for the state's MinnesotaCare program and that potentially could cut up to 18,000 low- and middle-income beneficiaries from the program, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The rule, which was scheduled to take effect on Sept. 10, would have affected 17,000 adults with incomes between 100% and 200% of the federal poverty level, and 1,000 parents with children ages 19 and 20. HHS officials agreed to delay implementation of the rule for an additional two weeks to give state lawmakers and officials time to make a case against it, the Pioneer Press reports.
Brian McClung, a spokesperson for Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), said that the Medicaid rule would results in a loss of $135 million in federal funds over a three-year period, and that "a significant loss of federal funding would seriously jeopardize the state's ability to assist low-income residents in need of health insurance." Some state officials said they doubted the state could replace the lost federal funds and retain existing benefits during the current economic downturn, the Pioneer Press reports (Olson, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 9/11).
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