Delaying employer mandate barely a bump in the road for the Affordable Care Act

Earlier this month, the Obama administration delayed implementing one component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – the provision that requires large employers to pay a penalty if they fail to offer health insurance coverage. The decision gives the federal government more time to clarify the rules and gives businesses more time to comply. A recent study by the Urban Institute assures us that it will not slow down the ACA’s goal to reduce the number of uninsured. Continue Reading

Health and human services omnibus bills make good investments using wrong resources

When the House and Senate released their committee targets in March, we were surprised that the health and human services budget division was required to cut $150 million in the House and $153 million in the Senate. After years of reductions to critical services for Minnesota’s most vulnerable, including $1 billion in cuts in the 2011 Legislative Session, we believed this year would offer an opportunity to start making up lost ground investing in our state’s health and well-being. Continue Reading

Governor Dayton’s budget proposal, part five: Health and human services

Many Minnesotans have seen the value of public health and human services at some point in their lives, whether it’s child care assistance that enabled a friend to keep her job, nursing home care for an elderly parent, or affordable health insurance for a cousin with a chronic illness. These and other essential services improve the health and stability of Minnesota families throughout the state. Continue Reading

You can’t turn a ship on a dime, but you can start to get it back on course

I sometimes think of the State of Minnesota as a ship that’s been heading in the wrong direction. We’ve spent the last few weeks reviewing elements of Governor Dayton’s proposed budget, which includes many ideas that will start to turn Minnesota around and get us back on the right course. His budget also reflects the reality that you can’t turn a ship on a dime. Continue Reading