Governor signs Sheran's medical expansion bill UPDATED - St. Peter MN: News

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Governor signs Sheran's medical expansion bill UPDATED

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Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 12:15 pm | Updated: 11:52 am, Wed Feb 20, 2013.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation Tuesday that will provide access to quality health care coverage, a bill authored by Sen. Kathy Sheran (DFL-Mankato).

The new law expands Medical Assistance (MA) eligibility in Minnesota to an additional 87,000 people and will produce major cost savings for the state.

“The Senate … agreed to expand Medicaid up to 138 percent of poverty under a proposal from the federal government in which they will partner with states and cover 100 percent of the cost of this population for three years and then overtime reducing their share to 90 percent,” said Sheran. “This is a billion dollar savings to the state of Minnesota’s general fund in the next four and five years. That’s an incredible savings that we will be able to use for other important health and human service projects.”

Combining this expansion with the ‘Early Expansion’ Dayton implemented in 2011 will save the state approximately $1 billion by 2015. With the business and health care communities showing their support, Sheran was happy to author the bill and work with its supporters.

“It’s very difficult to say no to a billion dollars and I can tell you that the chamber of commerce said vote for this bill, the hospital association said vote for this bill, providers and social safety net groups all over the state have said vote for this bill,” said Sheran. “They know it will give access to health care to the very poorest in our state and will also provide access to early intervention.”

“Minnesotans who will be covered by this legislation desperately need better quality health care,” said Governor Dayton. “Instead of taking their health crises to emergency rooms, thousands of low-income children, families, and individuals will be able to see doctors sooner and live healthier lives.”

Reach reporter Jessica Bies at 507-931-8568 or follow her on Twitter.com @sphjessicabies

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