The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 26, 2013

Sheran: Unfinished business in health and welfare bill

(Continued)

MANKATO —

Nonetheless, she is familiar with the bill and said it misplaces the state’s priorities.

Though nursing home workers got a 1.7 percent raise, Rosen said those increases were paid for with cuts to nursing homes elsewhere.

She criticized the state’s move to pay the premiums of those on MinnesotaCare (to be renamed the Basic Health Plan) earning up to 200 percent of the poverty level. She said that cost about $30 million and could have been spent better elsewhere.

Rosen also said the budget spends about $160 million on compliance with Obamacare, which she called wasted spending.

She said the bill wasn’t all bad; she praised its spending on dental programs and the $14 million for mental health.

Rosen said she shared some DFLers’ dissapointment in the $150 million cut.

She said the state is raising revenue by about $3 billion, and should have found a cost-of-living increase for nursing home workers.

Democrats in the House passed their version of the bill earlier this week, and a committee will be formed with members from both the House and Senate to hash out a final bill to send to Gov. Mark Dayton.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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