Non-partisan health care

Medicaid is no place for political grandstanding.

Daily Editorial Board

In one of his first acts as governor, Mark Dayton issued an executive order that would make Medicaid available to almost 100,000 low-income Minnesota residents. This move is a sound fiscal and public health policy, but it has come under fire from opponents whose opposition stems from their ideological disagreement with last yearâÄôs federal health care reform.
Because of an executive order issued in August by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota has so far rejected many of the benefits that came from federal health care reform, including the expansion of Medicaid coverage, which comes with additional federal funding.
DaytonâÄôs decision to finally allow Minnesota to opt into an expanded Medicaid program âÄî which begins March 1 âÄî permits the transfer of poor adults from state-run programs into Medicaid. This means that half their costs will be covered by the federal government, a move that would save Minnesota $32 million through 2013.
The expansion will also benefit Minnesota by covering 12,000 low-income adults who had not previously been covered by any health insurance and by bringing in an expected $1.3 billion to Minnesotan hospitals and health care providers.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and the Republican state legislators who are considering a constitutional challenge to DaytonâÄôs executive order should cease their needless political grandstanding.
Dayton is right to ignore these critics and move ahead with implementing his executive order despite the threat of legal challenge to the plan. Accepting additional federal Medicaid money will provide more Minnesotans with health care and save the state money.