Legislative Update: 4/21/15


This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

  • The first piece of the legislative budget proposal was unveiled when the House HHS Finance Committee made public its spending package for health and human service programs.  The bill calls for almost $1 billion in reduced spending on these programs from current projections.  A centerpiece of the proposal is a repeal of MinnesotaCare and the establishment of a new health insurance program for low-income Minnesotans built upon state tax subsidies to purchase care in the commercial market. The bill contains a number of mental health pieces, including expanded coverage of pediatric inpatient psychiatric care under Medical Assistance, funds for suicide prevention, training for mobile mental health crisis teams, and increased payment for chemical dependency treatment providers.  The bill, unfortunately, also eliminates the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP).  SHIP has been an important tool in smoking cessation and prevention, as well as reducing obesity.  The Senate’s competing proposal was unveiled Monday morning and MNAAP is reviewing its details.
  • A cut in the state’s tax on e-cigarettes was heard in the House, and may be heard soon in the Senate.  Under the bill, sought by the large tobacco companies who now dominate the e-cigarette market, the tax on e-cigarettes would be set according to the volume of liquid nicotine.  Current law taxes the products at 95% of the wholesale value.  This allows the tax to rise with the price of the product.  The new law would serve to dramatically cut the tax on “closed system” e-cigarette devices, those found most commonly at gas stations and convenience stores.

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Hennepin Healthcare
University of Minnesota Health
Essentia Health
Mayo Clinic
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