When Department of Human Services Commissioner Cal Ludeman came before the Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy Friday morning to discuss the impact of cuts to the state’s General Assistance Medical Care program, he emphasized that many of the people affected would be able to apply for coverage through Minnesota Care. It turns out that option carries a hefty price tag of its own.
Near the end of last night’s meeting of the LCPFP, Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller (DFL-Minneapolis) (pictured) announced that a preliminary fiscal note on Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s line-item veto of GAMC funding for fiscal year 2011 indicates that half of the $381 million in projected savings would be offset by $190 million in added costs to the Health Care Access Fund that pays for Minnesota Care.
"Most disturbingly," added Pogemiller, "it’ll take 62 new staff positions at the department to process applications for MinnCare. That just seems inefficient to me. And then there’s an $18 million loss in federal revenue [associated with the governor’s cuts]."