It’s no secret that big cuts may be in store for hospitals at the Legislature, particularly in the House and governor’s budget proposals. And lobbyists for other interest groups have been expecting the hospitals to try to preserve their state allocations by suggesting other places to make cuts.
Now the hospitals appear to be making a move, according to the Mankato Free Press.
Representatives of some big and small hospitals will be at the Capitol today to detail the impact of proposed budget cuts on their facilities, the paper says.
Dr. Greg Kutcher, of Immanuel St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, will tell of a nearly $10 million impact on the hospitals in Mankato, Waseca, St. James and Springfield over two years. And Lori Wightman of the New Ulm Medical Center will talk about the estimated $2 million blow to her facility.
Wightman and Kutcher aren’t asking to be spared when they talk to lawmakers, instead asking that all aspects of the state budget share evenly in the cuts required.
“We’ve never said ‘Don’t cut us,’ ” Kutcher said. “We’ve said, ‘Make it fair.’ “
The DFL-dominated Senate has essentially taken that approach, aiming to make across-the-board spending cuts while also raising taxes. Pawlenty, eschewing state tax hikes, has exempted K-12 education, veterans programs and public safety programs from deep cuts — making for even more substantial reductions in the rest of the state budget.
The representatives of the hospitals will be talking to House leaders — and the media — at this morning’s briefing. It’s part of a conscious effort to be more aggressive in getting their message out.
“As an industry, we haven’t been as vocal as education or cities or counties,” Wightman said. “We, as an industry, are just learning to be more effective in telling our story.”