Budget Cuts For Minnesota Health Care Programs, Again

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn., announced Tuesday that "health and human services will come in for $236 million in additional cuts as part of his unallotment strategy," the Star Tribune reports.  The "list of about 20 cuts to health services" includes ending a health care program for the poor "six weeks sooner than expected, saving $15 million" and "reducing hours for personal care attendants, who serve fragile and disabled people." Pawlenty "noted he was proposing no new payment reductions for primary care doctors and clinics, and no additional cuts in Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals that serve a large number of poor patients."

"Health care executives, who have been bracing for deep new cuts since the Legislature adjourned," expressed relief because "the governor's cuts could have been worse." "We are pleased our message that hospitals have been cut deep enough has been heard," said Lawrence Massa, president of the Minnesota Hospital Association." The cuts go into effect beginning July 1st (Yee, 6/17).

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