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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

October 25, 2022

Inflation Reduction Act advances economic relief, tax equity, and climate response

The federal Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions so that seniors, workers, and families can meet their health care and basic needs, takes important steps to address the climate crisis, and raises revenues from those with the greatest resources to invest in critical public services.

July 26, 2022

Open position: policy analyst will shape policies that advance economic and racial justice

For strongest consideration, apply by August 19; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

June 07, 2022

Mental health bill takes important steps forward in addressing state’s crisis

Minnesota legislators took important steps toward shoring up our state’s mental health system by allocating $93 million over three years aimed at increasing the number of providers, supporting mental health crisis services, and reducing racial disparities in mental health services.

April 21, 2022

Policymakers should do more for workers with disabilities

House and Senate bills take different approaches to human services and health care Supports for workers who care for...

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