Obamacare replacement could cost state billions

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Under: Things That Come As No Surprise, we have a report from the AP saying, “Minnesota officials are bracing for billions of dollars in additional health care expenses if congressional Republicans enact a plan they’re discussing to replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a draft document obtained by the Associated Press. The planning document shows that the GOP proposal, a draft of which was circulated last week, would cut $1.3 billion next year from the state’s low-income health care program that covers roughly one-sixth of its 5.5 million residents. By 2021, the losses would accumulate to more than $5 billion, eventually costing the state $6 billion a year starting 2029.”  I thought that’s what emergency rooms were for?

In the Star Tribune, Glen Howatt and Mary Lynn Smith say, “The changes are in part due to the GOP-led effort to unravel the Affordable Care Act, which provided generous funding to states like Minnesota that opted to expand their health insurance programs to the poor. Since the ACA was enacted in 2010, more than 300,000 Minnesotans have been added to Medical Assistance rolls. But it also reflects a desire, championed by U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and other conservatives, to fundamentally change the funding formula for Medicaid … .”

And also, this from Stribber Josephine Marcotty, “A proposal by the Trump administration to slash the Environmental Protection Agency budget by one-fourth would have a dramatic impact on Minnesota’s ability to protect its citizens from dirty air, polluted water and exposure to toxins, the state’s top environmental official said Thursday.” 

Well, the Governor’s out of surgery, send the bill down to Rochester STAT. Says KMSP-TV, “Sunday liquor sales will start July 2 in Minnesota. The Minnesota House gaveled in at 3:30 p.m. Thursday to officially concur with the Senate version of the Sunday sales bill, which has a later start time of 11 a.m. and a closing time of 6 p.m.Thursday’s House floor vote of 88-39 now sends the Sunday liquor sales bill to the desk of Gov. Mark Dayton to become law. The governor has 3 days to either sign bill or let it become law without his signature.”

Well, the old crackdown wasn’t too effective, was it? Maura Lerner of the Strib writes, “The University of Minnesota plans to step up efforts to prevent sexual assault by mandating training for faculty and staff and creating a presidential advisory committee on sexual misconduct. The moves were announced Thursday by President Eric Kaler at his annual State of the University speech. The changes were recommended by an ad hoc committee following the recent campus uproar over an alleged sexual assault involving multiple Gophers football players.” 

I guess if there’s not going to be any snow over the winter this makes sense. Brian Edwards of the AP says, “Lawmakers are considering legislation that could spell the end for Minnesota kids’ snow days. In an attempt to curb the amount of days tacked onto the end of the school year, a House committee heard legislation that would let schools substitute snow days for home learning, or e-learning, days. Families would be notified at least two hours before school starts and students would begin their online coursework at the beginning of the school day.”

But go ahead and have a couple cold ones until the cops arrive. Says Paul Walsh in the Strib: “A man sneaked into the back of a beer truck behind a liquor store in downtown Minneapolis, intent on stealing some of the inventory, but the driver thwarted the thirsty thief and locked the interloper inside until police arrived, authorities said Thursday. … .”

And finally, about that Chinese hoax: MPR’s Paul Huttner says, “ … persistence has risen to unprecedented new heights in Minnesota. February marks the 18th straight warmer than average month in the Twin Cities. That’s never happened before in 143 years of record keeping in the Twin Cities. … There’s an even bigger story here. Every 10 years NOAA updates the moving 30-year climate averages for the Twin Cities. So not only did we string together 18 straight warmer than average months for the first time on record, we did it against a moving backdrop. That’s like running on the moving walkway at MSP Airport. With February temperatures running 10.3 degrees warmer than average, it felt more like Kansas City than Minneapolis last month. Welcome to a Topeka winter.” Kansas City, huh? So do we get better BBQ and Eric Hosmer?

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 03/03/2017 - 07:20 am.

    Just Curious

    Are the GOP politicians who want to cut access to medical and nursing home care to the least among us pro life? Minnesota’s elderly deserve dignity and respect, even those who don’t have two nickels to rub together.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/03/2017 - 08:02 am.

    Under: Things That Come As No Surprise

    Goodbye, surplus, as well as road and bridge repair, lower taxes, etc. Can’t wait to see what sort of “health savings account” balance minimum wage families are able to accumulate, and how much good that balance will do them at today’s prices—none of which are known in advance.

  3. Submitted by Cathy Erickson on 03/03/2017 - 12:19 pm.

    Snow Days

    My goodness, people have been getting worked up about the possible legislation regarding snow days and e-learning. If you read the bill, it says districts MAY choose an e-learning option on inclement weather days (up to 5 days per year). They have to follow some rules if they decide to enact this and the language mirrors what is currently happening in a few school districts who are already using the option. The intent of the bill is to allow districts to count these e-learning days as instructional days on their calendar, which, based on current law, they can’t.

    In addition, districts are not required to make up snow days each year. They are encouraged to and often times districts will in order to keep on a curriculum schedule or maintain a certain number of teacher contact days in the year, but if a district has 10 snow days one year and doesn’t make them up, they don’t lose money for regular K-12 students and there is no other penalty even though there is a statutory minimum number of days/hours in the calendar. There are some glitches that can happen in funding for students generating enrollment by the hour (IE, Alternative Programs & Centers, Early Childhood Special Ed and others)…if the amount of contact time goes under what is required by statute, a student’s enrollment value (ADM) will be prorated.

    The logistics of providing e-learning will vary widely by district and some (maybe most?) will find barriers to make this happen. The idea behind the bill language, from what I can read and listen to from the testimony at Thursday’s hearing on the bill, is to allow for these days for those who can, not mandate the idea for everyone.

    Text of the bill: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=HF1421&version=0&session=ls90&session_year=2017&session_number=0

    Hear the testimony from the hearing – from a district already doing this: http://ww2.house.leg.state.mn.us/audio/mp3ls90/edpol030217.mp3
    (hits about the 32 minute mark)

Leave a Reply