Healthcare Advocates Rally

Join Healthcare Advocates for a “Sunshine Rally” to Stop the Sunset of the Provider Tax!

Thursday, March 21, at 10 a.m., in the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda,

The Land Stewardship Project organizes for healthcare for all because we know that the lack of affordable, high-quality care is a major barrier to our vision of thriving rural communities with more farmers on the land, and with people able to choose the work they want to do without worries about healthcare coverage. Every person deserves care, and it is our responsibility as people to work together through our government to ensure we have a healthcare system that meets everyone’s needs. We know we have lots of work to do to achieve this goal of major healthcare reform. But incredibly, right now some elected officials want to take us backwards and make the rural healthcare crisis even worse by creating a roughly $700-million-a-year hole in Minnesota’s healthcare budget.

Why the Provider Tax Matters:

Minnesota’s Health Care Access Fund is used to fund public health programs and healthcare for one million Minnesotans enrolled in Medicaid and MinnesotaCare. This money comes from a 2% tax paid by healthcare providers, a formula which has worked successfully since 1992, when it was created with bipartisan leadership and signed into law by Gov. Arne Carlson. But as part of a deal to end the 2011 state government shutdown, Republican leadership of the Minnesota House and Senate struck an agreement with Gov. Mark Dayton to set a December 2019 sunset date on the provider tax. Stopping the sunset would prevent an unnecessary budget catastrophe by simply continuing what has worked well for decades to ensure stable funding for Medicaid and MinnesotaCare. But unfortunately, some legislators are now trying to misrepresent what the provider tax is and what continuing it would mean. We need to make sure we continue investing this public money for the public good.

Join Us to Speak Up!

It’s time to send a loud and clear message to our legislators: stop the sunset of the provider tax! That’s why the This Is Medicaid coalition and other healthcare advocates are hosting a “Sunshine Rally” in the State Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, March 21, starting at 10 a.m. Click here for details. This will be an opportunity to learn more about why the provider tax is so important and let our legislators know that investing in healthcare matters to us.

We are pleased that Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan have made keeping the provider tax a key priority in their budget proposal. Click here to read an LSP commentary that has run in newspapers across the state describing the important steps forward in the administration’s plan. Stopping the sunset of the provider tax keeps our state on a stable footing from which we can move forward with greatly needed long-term healthcare reform, as well as short-term relief for the many Minnesotans facing unaffordable costs. The health and well-being of all people and of the land are interconnected, and we cannot thrive as a state if we cut our investments in the healthcare Minnesotans need.

We look forward to seeing you at the rally on Thursday, March 21. Please reply to this e-mail to let us know if you plan to attend, and feel free to contact us with questions or ideas.

Sincerely,

LSP Healthcare Organizers

Paul Sobocinski, Wabasso, MN, 507-430-1509, e-mail

Johanna Rupprecht, Lewiston, MN, 507-523-3366, e-mail

About the Natural Resources Veto

To the editor

Last week Governor Dayton vetoed most of the GOP budget bills.  They all came to his desk with similar flaws;  they failed to use the budget surplus to invest in the future of Minnesota and they contained policy provisions that did not belong in budget bills, violating a provision of the state constitution that prohibits multiple bills being bundled into one larger package of bills.  It is instructive to read the governor’s veto letter, a portion of which is quoted below:
“Our environment and natural resources are central to our economy culture, and wellbeing.  House File 888 puts at risk core values that define our state’s identity of practical and common sense protections supported by efficient government programs that  guarantee a clean healthy environment where all Minnesotans can thrive.
In a time of surplus, and after years of implementing improvements to our permitting  and environmental review systems, this bill leaves a significant funding gap and makes unwarranted policy changes that would thwart the progress we have make together.  Ultimately this bill would lead to a significant reduction of environmental services and layoffs of public servants.
Without [the needed] funds services and facilities will be reduced.  Some state park campgrounds will be closed or their seasons shortened.  Fewer lakes will be stocked with fish.  DNR’s ability to coordinate and collaborate with lake associations and conservation clubs will be reduced.  The refusal to invest in Minnesota’s outdoor heritage is an affront to all who hunt, fish boatman use ATV’s and snowmobile.”
The Governor’s letter continues to detail additional cuts to environmental programs including an unwarranted raid on the Legacy Fund to pay for County Soil and Water administration expenses.  The Governor’s veto is not an obstructionist ploy as the Republicans have claimed, but an attempt to salvage the environmental and cultural legacy of Minnesota from the ravages of a slash and burn Republican budget.
John King
15125 County 38
Long Prairie, MN
320.732.3321

About the Governor’s Vetos

Governor Dayton vetoed 10 reactionary Republican loaded with addon that had nothing to do with the budget. Attached are 3 of the Governor’s veto letters.  thanks to John King for providing the links.

This is a link to Gov Dayton’s veto letter of the Agriculture bill.  It is revealing in that it discredits Gazelka’s accusation that the Governor was failing to compromise in negotiations.  It also highlights how the GOP is failing to invest i Minnesota.
John King
This is a link to the Governor’s veto of the environmental bill.  The first paragraphs are key in understanding how the GOP budget slashes spending and services and puts needed environmental policies at risk.
John King
Below is a link to Governor Dayton’s veto of the Health and Human Services bill.  The nearly 20% cut to the Family Planning Special Projects grant shows how shortsighted the bill is.  Family Planning Special Projects reached out to 30,000 people with family planning services and information and in the process significantly reduced teen and unwanted pregnancies.  The resulting savings in social services far exceeded any cuts the GOP is making.
John KIng