Governor’s New Budget Similar to January Version
[MMA News Now, March 14, 2013] Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled a revised version of his budget on March 14 and for health care advocates it doesn’t seem much different than the one he unveiled in January.
In the new budget, Dayton sets aside an additional $2 million for health and human services. He also maintained the 94 cents per pack increase to the state’s tobacco tax.
"We appreciate that the governor continues to support an increase on the tobacco tax,” said Eric Dick, the MMA’ s manager of state legislative affairs. “The MMA believes, however, that this figure should serve as a floor for the increase and not a ceiling. Raising the price of tobacco is one of the most effective ways to encourage users to quit and prevent young people from starting.”
The latest version of his budget maintains the same Medical Education and Research Cost funding - $25 million for the biennium - that Dayton proposed in January. It also contains $8 million for the administraton costs associated with the Affordable Care Act’s primary care reimbursement bump. In addition, the budget assumes adoption of the Basic Health Plan option under the ACA and sets aside $1.4 million for loan forgiveness for health care professionals who practice in underserved areas in the state.
Over the next several weeks, the House and Senate will work out their own versions of the budget for the next biennium.
Look for more detailed to come from MMA News Now.