In our democracy, it is up to us to make sure that our elected officials act in the best interests of our communities and the land and that our government wisely uses public resources to meet public needs. For decades, stable funding for public healthcare programs and public health initiatives in Minnesota has come from a small tax paid by healthcare providers in our state. But unless our Minnesota legislators take action this year to save it, the provider tax will end in December 2019, creating a hole in our state budget of roughly $700 million annually.
We know many Minnesotans, especially in rural areas, are facing a crisis of lack of affordable healthcare coverage and lack of care available close to home. Legislators should be working to solve these problems instead of taking us backwards with a massive cut to the healthcare budget. We can and should be a state that invests in meeting everyone’s needs. Call your state Senator and state Representative today and ask them to stop the sunset of the provider tax.
Background — 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 percent 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. 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.
Here’s What You Can Do:
1. Click here to make calls to your state legislators today.
2. This Thursday, March 21, at 10 a.m. in the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda, join the “Sunshine Rally” to stop the sunset of the provider tax. Hosted by This Is Medicaid and other healthcare advocates, this will be an opportunity to learn more about why the provider tax is so important and to let our legislators know that investing in healthcare matters to us.