NEWS RELEASE: With 6 Days Left of Session, GOP Senators Ignore Constituents, Advocates, and Hospitals on the Health Care Provider Tax

Contact: Kenza Hadj-Moussa, 612-386-9556


With 6 Days Left of Session, GOP Senators Ignore Constituents, Advocates, and Hospitals on the Health Care Provider Tax

St. Paul, Minnesota—Every state in the country except Alaska has a provider tax to pay for Medicaid and critical health care programs. Last night, Senator Gazelka announced that preserving Minnesota’s health care provider tax was “off the table” in budget negotiations.

Today, the Minnesota Department of Human Services released new county-level data on the human and economic impact of Medicaid across the state.

The DHS report includes mandatory and optional Medicaid services, laying the Medicaid services the state can cut if the GOP drains the health care access fund. This  includes Medicaid-expansion—health care for Minnesotans without dependent children living in poverty with disabilities—as well as emergency hospital services, dental care, care for children with disabilities, clinic services, screening and prevention and more. (p.47)

For Minnesotans enrolled in Medicaid, Republican attacks on health care have been persistent under the Trump Administration, and now those threats are at home.

For months, constituents enrolled in Medicaid and MinnesotaCare have lobbied their Senators to protect critical funding for health care.  

In Sterns County, 20.7% of residents are enrolled in Medicaid. That’s 32,942 people, including Aya Griesy from St. Cloud who spoke with Sen. Jerry Relph at the Capitol last week about the health care provider tax.

Sen. Relph falsely claimed the health care provider tax hurts rural hospitals (when it actually funds Medicaid keeping rural hospitals operating and residents healthy), raised his voice, and walked away. 

Over 150 organizations including advocates, service providers, unions, health care professionals, counties, and hospitals have called on the Senate to repeal the sunset of the provider tax in a sign on letter:

In the seven years since the sunset was enacted in 2011, there has been more than sufficient time for possible alternatives to the health care provider tax to be proposed, vetted, and considered. However, no reliable alternative has emerged. Consequently, critical health care services for low-income Minnesotans and innovative community health programs are imminently at risk.

Since 2010, states have added provider taxes to finance Medicaid expansion for adults without dependents who are living in deep poverty with disabilities. State Medicaid funding is matched with federal funding for health care. Medicaid-expansion, a key success of the Affordable Care Act, has been critical to reducing the rates of uninsured Americans across the country.  


TakeAction Minnesota is a statewide,  independent,  multiracial people’s organization working to advance democracy and equity through organizing, political action, and campaigns. The organization has offices in St. Paul, Duluth, and St. Cloud. 


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