The MMA supports adequate payment for medical services to patients in Minnesota’s safety net programs and opposes cuts in eligibility that would leave people without health insurance.
Minnesota’s safety net programs –General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC), Minnesota Care, and Minnesota’s Medicaid program, Medical Assistance (MA), – provide affordable health insurance for Minnesotans who otherwise would not be able to afford medical care.
State health care programs are especially important in difficult economic times. They reduce the need for charity care and cost shifting; they encourage people to seek preventive care and to visit their doctor before an illness becomes serious and hard to treat. Health coverage is especially important for the chronically ill whose care must be managed to avoid medical emergencies.
Unfortunately, Minnesota’s safety net is frayed because payments do not cover the overall cost of providing care such as rent, supplies, equipment, and payment for nurse and other staff. Payments for medical services for people in public programs have been increased across the board only once in the last 16 years, a 3 percent raise in 2000. Meanwhile the cost of running a medical practice has gone up nearly 30 percent just in the last 10 years.