Last Friday, a new proposed solution to GAMC was unveiled. Legislators from both parties and the Governor held a joint press conference, signaling that the long standing conflict over this program may be coming to an end.
The proposed solution is a block grant to hospitals that had high GAMC patient populations. This money would go towards what would otherwise be uncompensated care. Details on which providers would receive funding have not been fully released. As Sen. Berglin noted, this plan still places a high burden on the health care system, and these costs will come back to anyone who pays for medical care in the state.
There are many questions left unanswered at this point. We are still looking at what services these hospitals will be accountable for delivering, and what the impact will be of removing the direct link between funding and individual need. However, we are relieved to see some forward progress on this issue, and commend the legislators who worked so hard to make a solution possible. We are also pleased to see that the funding source been shifted towards the general fund. Previous proposals had tapped county funding that provides critical social and health services.
The Senate Health and Human Services Budget Division will hear testimony on this plan tomorrow at 9 AM.
Please check back as we get more specifics on this bill and how it will impact Minnesotans with mental illnesses.