Amid reform, MinnesotaCare needs a hand

  • Article by: LUCINDA JESSON
  • Updated: February 4, 2013 - 8:03 PM
  • 13
  • Comments

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dibblegonFeb. 4, 13 9:56 PM

Not great detail in this piece. Is the net/net that 95% of our(Minnesota) tax dollars that would have gone towards Obamacare may now stay local and go towards Minnesota Care instead? I'm not against this but the obvious question follows, what if each state has similar requests? Would this choke off funding for Obamacare?

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pumiceFeb. 4, 1310:41 PM

From the article: "Last week, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken joined U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz, Collin Peterson, Erik Paulsen, Rick Nolan and John Kline..." Doesn't Minnesota have eight US Representatives and ten Members of Congress? Nine of them requested federal partnership to preserve and improve MinnesotaCare, an innovative and bipartisan model, and one of them sponsored a 34th attempt to repeal ACA???

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jpcooperFeb. 5, 13 1:25 PM

Pumice... Please explain to us why we need Mn Care? We have Medicare, We have Medicaid, We have Obamacare and we have employer sponsored Insurance we can purchase. Why another program dependent on taxpayer funds?

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offtherecordFeb. 5, 13 1:41 PM

Either we don't need MinnesotaCare or we don't need ObamaCare. If anyone wants to know why the government is bloated all you need to do is look at all the duplication of services.

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crystalbayFeb. 5, 13 2:35 PM

I'm opposed to the continuation of MNCare. For one thing, the expansion of Medicaid to 133% of the poverty level should cover most who are still eligible for MNCare; for another, the exchange pools formed and federal subsidies for people lower on the income scale should surely suffice. I have a personal reason for wanting to see this program ended, too: I am one of thousands of providers of health care who has been hit by the 2% tax every year to fund it. It's very inequitable because this tax is assessed on GROSS income, not net or after other taxes have come out. What this effectively means is that the actual loss to professionals such as myself is closer to 8-10% of net income. And this is in addition to self-employment double FICA. This tax was originally supposed to last two years. Twenty years later, it's still being assessed. It's time to end MNCare altogether.

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flatstanleyFeb. 5, 13 3:00 PM

offtherecord, you are missing the point entirely. This has absolutely nothing to do with duplication of services. It's entirely about finding the best funding source for the care this patient population will receive and being a better steward of tax payer money. Under the ACA the federal government will be offering financial assistance to help low income Minnesotans purchase a private health insurance plan. What Jesson is proposing is that instead of using that money to help these people get private insurance, is that instead we use that money to fund the MNCare program. Why? 3 reasons: The first reason is that it will cost the federal tax payers less money. The second reason is that it will have better health outcomes for the patient because they will actually go and receive care there won't be additional out of pocket costs for these patients that would normally deter them from seeking care. The third reason is that it will benefit hospitals with better reimbursement, because they won't be at risk of taking on patient's who can't afford their out of pocket (co-insurance & deductibles) as part of being on a private policy.

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crystalbayFeb. 5, 13 3:52 PM

"What Jesson is proposing is that instead of using that money to help these people get private insurance, is that instead we use that money to fund the MNCare program.".......................If indeed the feds took over the funding of MNCare and the 2% on all health care providers was expired, I'd be all for it. My fear is that this tax will march on in addition to federal funding, however.

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flatstanleyFeb. 5, 13 4:33 PM

crystalbay, I have to disagree with you on this one. Just offering low income individuals assistance with buying private insurance is akin to handing out free cars to people who can't afford to buy one on their own. If I can't afford a car, how can I afford gas, tires, license, tabs, etc... The healthcare equivalent is co-pays, con-insurance, deductibles, etc... What I personally would like to see as an outcome is a change of behavior where more Minnesotans are going to the doctor for preventative services Vs waiting until the disease progresses to the point where it's either unmanagable or significantly more expensive to treat. Just having access to Health insurance isn't enough if people can't afford their individual out of pocket responsibilities. Your concern over a 2% tax is valid and I have answers that will relieve that concern. My concern is that we eliminate MNCare, spend the money on health insurance, and this group of patient's doesn't seek care because they are deterred by costs. In this worst case scenario all of us and I mean all of us loses.

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crystalbayFeb. 5, 13 5:00 PM

"My concern is that we eliminate MNCare, spend the money on health insurance, and this group of patient's doesn't seek care because they are deterred by costs. "...................I have clients on MNCare - they still pay co-pays and pay a lot for their premiums. MNCare is not 100% coverage beyond the premium - or did you know that? I'm curious about what your "valid answers" are as to the unfair 2% tax on all health care providers. Please explain? Again, the 2% is inequitable because it's assessed on gross income.

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offtherecordFeb. 5, 13 5:17 PM

According to the IRS the lowest obamacare policy will cost $20,000.00 We are doomed.

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