Minnesota lawmakers are set to consider a bill that would create a new public-private partnership to help pay for a public health program to help low-income people pay for health care.
Mark Dayton’s office confirmed Monday that the House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the bill.
The bill, HB 876, would establish a new Public Health Partnership Program to help Minnesota pay for affordable, quality care for low- and moderate-income Minnesota residents, said spokeswoman Jen Henson.
The Public Health partnership program would provide funding for community health centers, family planning clinics, health clinics and other providers, and provide direct access to qualified health care providers, Henson said.
Under the plan, the Public Health Partnerships Fund would become the state’s primary source of funding for the Minnesota Health Care Access Fund, the fund established in the state budget for funding health care for Minnesota residents.
The bill is likely to be referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.
State Sen. Mike Callton, a Republican, has been an outspoken supporter of the public health partnerships program.
He said he’s encouraged by the idea of public-public partnerships and he has a personal stake in the plan.
“It’s just a great thing for us to do.
I’ve been doing it my whole life,” Callton said.
“The Public House of Minnesota is a public place.
We’ve got to pay our bills.
We’re in a very tough economic situation.”
The bill would require a public vote on the plan for any measure that would require the state to increase the rate of its Medicaid expansion.
The governor’s office said a vote on this measure is expected on Tuesday.
The state is one of the few in the nation that does not expand Medicaid, but it is the only state that has a public-sector ppp program.
The plan also would require state agencies to use the Public House’s existing funding for its existing budget and could also require the Legislature to approve a funding plan for the new public health partnership program.
A spokesperson for the Public Affairs Department of the Minnesota Department of Health and Social Services said the agency does not have an official position on the bill yet, but the agency supports public health programs.