Minneapolis-St. Paul Region Overcomes Early State Resistance to National Health Reform

Media Advisory
Aug. 21, 2013

Alwyn Cassil (202) 264-3484 or acassil@hschange.org

WASHINGTON , DC—After initial state government resistance to national health reform, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area is well on the way to preparing for national health reform, according to a new Community Report released today by Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and based on interviews with local health care leaders in 2013, the study examined the Minneapolis-St. Paul region’s commercial and Medicaid insurance markets.

Shortly after passage of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) and state Republican lawmakers vowed to block implementation of many of the law’s key provisions. However, since electing Gov. Mark Dayton (D) later in 2010 and Democrats gaining control of the Legislature in 2012, Minnesota has proceeded with full ACA implementation.

The state opted to expand Medicaid eligibility for childless adults with incomes up to 75 percent of the federal poverty level in 2011 and will implement the full Medicaid expansion in 2014. After winning legislative approval in March 2013, the state-run health insurance exchange is expected to be ready for open enrollment on Oct. 1, 2013. Key findings of the report, Minneapolis-St. Paul: Health Care Market Overcomes Early State Resistance to National Reform, which is available here, include:

As health reform unfolds in the coming years, there will be ongoing issues to track in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-area health care market, including: