Dayton expected to sign bill expanding federal health care for Minnesota's poor


The Minnesota Senate voted 45-22 Thursday to move about 35,000 poor Minnesotans off state-based health care programs and into Medicaid, known in the state as the Medical Assistance program, the Star Tribune reports.

Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign the bill into law within days, the newspaper reports.

The changes would also offer Medicaid coverage to thousands of other Minnesotans who have health insurance through the state's MinnesotaCare program, the Pioneer Press reports.

Ultimately, the change could affect 80,000 low-income Minnesotans, the Star Tribune notes.

The legislation could save the state up to $129 million over two years, beginning in July.

Republicans have complained that the move further burdens a federal government already deeply in debt and unable to pay for the program in the long term, MPR reported.

Next Up


Dayton, Republicans clash over federal health care grants

Republican Senator and Finance Committee Chairman David Hann accuses the Democratic governor of going around a state law that would allow him to halt the spending of millions of dollars in federal grants for the state's health-care programs. Hann says he wants more information about how the state would spent the money. Forum Communications reports Dayton's budget office marked the funds "urgent," which means the money wouldn't require legislators' approval.

Low-income group falls into health care 'no-man's land'

The federal health care overhaul was aimed at providing affordable health insurance to millions of Americans who lack it. But a low-income group falls into a kind of no-man's land for affordable coverage, and Minnesota officials are considering an optional program to help fill this gap. But there is a huge unknown: cost.