GAMC agreement passed by House and Senate


A compromise between Gov. Tim Pawlenty and legislators on how to provide basic medical services for an estimated 35,000 low-income Minnesotans, many of whom have chronic mental health problems, was passed 121-12 by the House and 50-12 by the Senate.

Beginning June 1, the General Assistance Medical Care population would be served under partnerships of hospitals and clinics – so-called “coordinated care delivery systems.” These systems would receive state reimbursement for their care of GAMC patients, but at significantly reduced rates. Hospitals choosing not to participate could receive temporary funding through November.

Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul), who sponsors HF802/ SF460* with Sen. Linda Berglin (DFL-Mpls), successfully amended the bill to include clarifying language agreed upon by the governor.

On the House floor, lawmakers praised Murphy and Rep. Matt Dean (R-Dellwood) for leading a bipartisan effort to find a GAMC solution. They were also realistic about the bill’s shortcomings, including the effect on health care providers.

“This bill asks them to step up and do more with dramatically less,” said Rep. Diane Loeffler (DFL-Mpls).

Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls) was among a handful of Democrats who voted against the legislation, saying the governor had downsized the proposal to the point of being “unworkable.”