The truth about subsidized healthcare


(12/27/2009)

From: Rep. Steve Drazkowski

In response to a confused Mr. Youmans and his recent political bantering, the public deserves to know the truth about subsidized healthcare.

In Minnesota, there are three health care welfare programs:

Medical Assistance (MA) – health care insurance paid from federal taxes, provided to people on federal assistance programs.

MinnesotaCare – Minnesota’s government- subsidized health care insurance program for lower income Minnesotans who meet the income guidelines.

GAMC - a Minnesota taxpayer funded health insurance for 30,400 low-income adults without dependent children. Two-thirds of GAMC recipients are also given $203 per month in cash from state taxpayer-funded General Assistance.

There are some important items to note:

We have three different subsidized health care insurance programs in Minnesota. No other state has a GAMC program, where the recipient is 100% covered and pays no premiums and no co-pays.

GAMC is very expensive and inefficient. Each GAMC policy costs nearly $10,000. Contrast MinnesotaCare, where the cost per enrollee is less than half that cost.

When the GAMC program ends on March 1 of next year, the Minnesota Department of Human Services will transition all current GAMC recipients (nearly 90% of which live in the twin cities) to MinnesotaCare. The premium will cost each recipient $4 per month, with the remainder of the policy paid for by state taxes.

The current level of state government spending is not sustainable! Minnesota’s Health and Human Services budget has grown nearly 80% in just 8 years. We must bring this area of the budget under control or it will eventually consume nearly every tax dollar that government collects.

Mr. Youmans and others easily distracted by partisan heckling would be well served to join the governor and legislators as we work to fix a broken system and solve Minnesota’s budget deficit.

 

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