Readers’ Views

Nonsensical legislation

To the Editor:

Minnesota House Democrats have passed health and human services spending legislation, a proposal that increases health care costs, makes harmful cuts to nursing homes that provide care to aging Minnesotans, and fails to prevent rampant fraud in Minnesota’s childcare and other public programs.

I opposed the bill.

Why anyone would cut nursing home funding and increase taxes on sick Minnesotans is beyond me. Remember, we have a $1 billion surplus, and the Democrats are choosing to cut nursing homes but raise your health care taxes, gasoline taxes and plenty more.

The bill includes an extension of the provider tax that will add more than $2 billion to the cost of Minnesotans’ health care over the next four years, and includes changes to nursing home reimbursement rates that result in $68 million in cuts to Minnesota nursing facilities. The bill also fails to extend Minnesota’s reinsurance program, which could cause premium rates to skyrocket next year.

The House majority also missed an opportunity to combat rampant fraud in public programs. This session the non-partisan legislative auditor uncovered fraud in the Child Care Assistance Program, and this 1,100-page bill did little to prevent future fraud or address the recommendations made by the legislative auditor.

This legislation is nonsensical in so many ways. At 1,100 pages and 12 pounds, this health and human services bill might make a nice doorstop, but it is not nice for our elderly or sick Minnesotans.

State Rep. Bob Gunther

R-Fairmont

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