Health and human services bill is finished

Posted at 2:26 PM on July 19, 2011 by Madeleine Baran (0 Comments)
Filed under: Budget , Health

Updated at 2:50 p.m.: Bill will allow the expansion of Medical Assistance to continue, but will make changes to MinnesotaCare.

Lawmakers say the Health and Human Services bill is finished. But it's not available online yet. Lawmakers finished discussing the bill at a news conference a few minutes ago.

Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, responded to concerns that the public doesn't have enough time to review the bill before it comes up for a vote.

"There are not dramatically new things that will be seen in the bill," Gottwalt said.

The bill's release is being watched closely -- and for good reason. It's the largest section of the state budget. And it's been the source of sharp partisan disagreement for months, or years, really.

The GOP released a statement a few minutes ago saying the bill "leverages innovation and reform to make Minnesota's HHS system accountable, responsible and sustainable."

The statement quotes Senate HHS Chair Senator David Hann saying:

Our reforms have changed the structure of the HHS budget. We are now anticipating growth in the next budget to be less than 5 percent. The average forecasted growth in spending per biennium over the past decade has been 15 percent.

We'll post more details about the bill once it's available.


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