With the regular session fast approaching its end, the Legislature and the Governor have still not come to a budget agreement. Gov. Pawlenty vetoed the Health and Human Services bill that we recently wrote about. However, most observers see signs of potential compromise, that the veto letter indicated a willingness to compromise. What we are concerned with is that the Governor is looking for other funding sources to pay for Minnesota’s share of MA expansion.
- The hospital and insurance surcharges are a fundamentally fair way of collecting this money. Most of the organizations affected will also benefit greatly from expanded MA. This is a fair trade in which everyone benefits.
- Previous funding sources included large cuts to the Adult Mental Health Grants. We oppose these cuts strongly, as it is not wise to provide health insurance at the same time that we eliminate necessary mental health services.
We need a budget signed into law, and we know that this will involve compromise. But we would strongly oppose a return to raiding mental health services to solve the budget crisis.