Minnesota Hospital Association


July 20, 2011

Health and human services omnibus budget bill brings hardships for hospitals

Statement from Lawrence J. Massa, President and CEO, Minnesota Hospital Association

ST. PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), which represents 145 Minnesota hospitals and their respective health systems, is disappointed that policymakers turned again to disproportionate cuts to our health care system, and to the patients we serve, to fill the state’s budget shortfall. These unrealistic and short-term savings will pose significant hardship for hospitals and health systems, and will jeopardize our ability to provide nation-leading care for our residents.

The final budget bill passed by the Legislature in its one-day special session and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton this morning contains some positive provisions. In particular, MHA is relieved that early Medicaid enrollment remains a secure part of Minnesota’s public health programs.

MHA is also pleased that proposals in the Legislature’s previous budget bill — proposals that would have led to 140,000 Minnesotans joining the ranks of the uninsured — were abandoned and that drastic cuts to medical education funding were mitigated in the final bill.

MHA expects that Minnesota’s residents’ health will suffer when the omnibus bill’s cuts result in less access and availability to certain services, less investment in quality and efficiency improvements and less flexibility to train and recruit caregivers for the future. MHA will immediately begin preparing for the 2012 legislative session to improve the provisions in this year’s omnibus bill so that our residents can continue to receive the high-quality, low-cost care that they expect and deserve.