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Health Care

The ability to afford health care shouldn't depend on someone's paycheck or address. Our state has a history of investing in health care, healthy communities, and the well-being of Minnesotans. That's paid off in strong rates of health care coverage. But there's more to do, including dismantling barriers to living healthy lives that many people of color and people in rural areas face.

Our health care work focuses on the effects of state and federal health care policies on Minnesotans' ability to live healthy lives and get the care they need to thrive.

Research

March 2012

Health insurance exchange will improve access and affordability for many Minnesotans

In the next few years, Minnesotans will see important improvements in the way they access health insurance. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 lays out a path for improving access to health care by reforming the nation’s health insurance system. This creates a tremendous opportunity to improve health outcomes in the state not only by increasing access to health care, but also by making insurance more affordable, ensuring a basic level of coverage and reducing health disparities.

 

January 2012

Basic Health Plan offers a chance to provide comprehensive health care coverage for low-income Minnesotans

The number of uninsured in Minnesota has been on the rise over the last decade, with one out of 10 Minnesotans under age 65 now lacking health care coverage. And there are many others who have inadequate insurance, often relying on catastrophic health insurance plans that come with high deductibles and offer little in the way of preventive care. The recent recession and the slow economic recovery have only added to the trouble – high levels of unemployment have caused many to lose access to affordable health care coverage through their work.

October 2010

The unequal distribution of health in the Twin Cities

The disparities existing today in health outcomes and income should be a concern for all in our region. Income inequality, with persistent disparities between whites and people of color, contradicts our most deeply held values. Minnesotans believe that hard work should pay off, that people who work full-time should be able to support their families, and that everyone who is willing to work should have the opportunity to succeed. Gaps like those in the Twin Cities today make people distant from each other. That distance undermines our sense of shared destiny. It weakens trust in our public institutions.

July 2010

General Assistance Medical Care: Unique program serves a unique population

General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) was initially established in 1975 to provide health care coverage for very low-income adults without dependent children. It is a state-funded program that fills in the gap for adults, aged 21 to 64, who do not qualify for other public health care programs. In 2008, an average of 28,000 Minnesotans were enrolled in GAMC each month, or 70,000 over the course of the year. More than 40 percent of enrollees are people of color.

Health Care Blog Posts

August 03, 2020

New data confirm states need more federal Medicaid support

Data shows climbing numbers of Minnesotans needing some help to afford care while we’re also seeing massive state revenue shortfalls as a result of the pandemic’s economic disruption. This presents a serious mismatch of needs and resources. An increase to federal Medicaid funding is needed to make sure people can get the health care they need, when they need it.

July 28, 2020

US Senate COVID-19 relief package falls dramatically short of what nation needs

The Senate relief package – called HEALS Act -- is inadequate to meet the challenges of this moment and is too small to jumpstart our economy. Instead of prioritizing the health and well-being of Americans and building for an economic recovery, the Senate plan falls short and would result in more kids going hungry and at risk of becoming homeless, force more lay-offs of teachers and other state and local government workers, and cause harmful cuts to health care, education, and other urgently needed services.

July 09, 2020

Bonnie Tyler wasn’t wrong: We need a HERO

The HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act proposal is a needed Congressional effort to...

July 07, 2020

Special session victory: common-sense approaches reduce barriers during pandemic

Common-sense measures to remove barriers to health care, food support, and other needed services will continue, thanks to legislation passed in the June special legislative session.

Our Health Care Policy Work

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Preserving critical health care funding

Keeping Minnesota’s health care provider tax in place is a key to a healthy Minnesota. The Minnesota Budget Project worked hard alongside others to preserve this critical source of funding by repealing the scheduled sunset of the provider tax during the 2019 Legislative Session. The health care provider tax was permanently extended as part of the budget agreement reached by Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Legislature. However, the provider tax rate was reduced from 2 percent to 1.8 percent.

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Issues