Gov. Dayton announced this morning that the states enrollment into the federal Medicaid program will be moved up to March first. Dayton made the announced just weeks after he signed an executive order enrolling 95 thousand Minnesotans into the federal program. The move allows Minnesota to receive more than $1 billion in federal matching money.
Dayton made the issue a top prirotiy for his administration. He questioned a timeline outlined by Human Services Commissioner Cal Ludeman as being too long. Ludeman and other members of the Pawlenty Administration said it would take until October for the MA expansion to be implemented. Dayton said Cindy Jesson, the new Human Services Commissioner, made the issue a priority.
"This shows what happens when you have a dedicated commissioner who is committed to the mission of the agency and an administration that is dedicated to carrying out the purpose of this."
Dayton's decision to sign the executive order has been controversial. Republicans criticized the move as an expansion of the federal health care law. Several Republicans suggested they may take legislative action to change the order.
Dayton, who has been careful to not threaten using his veto pen on other matters, said he would stop any action to change the MA expansion.
"This is one time where I will say I would veto anything that that came forward that attempted to impede this program or rescind it," Dayton said. "Unless they have two-thirds in both Houses to override it, this program will take effect as it should."
GOP Sen. David Hann says he plans to move forward with a plan to rescind the MA expansion despite the veto threat. He said he has concerns about the federal expansion in health care.