Dayton Medicaid Order Turns Into Minn. Town Hall

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton shared the podium with tea party protesters on Wednesday as he completed his first official act — deepening Minnesota’s participation in the federal health care overhaul by expanding Medicaid coverage for the poor.

The Democratic governor turned his first news conference into an impromptu town hall meeting, but laid down ground rules before giving equal time to opponents of the Medicaid expansion who jammed into the Capitol reception room.

“This is a public room that belongs to the people of Minnesota, where all points of view are honored,” Dayton said.

The mood was charged and security was heavy as Dayton signed an executive order extending Medicaid coverage to 12,000 uninsured vulnerable adults and 83,000 others who currently get less generous coverage under other state health care programs.

Minnesota is among a small group of states allowed to draw federal money to cover childless adults now because they already had state health care programs for that population. Most states don’t. So far, only Connecticut and the District of Columbia have opted for the early Medicaid expansion. Starting in 2014, the federal government is slated to extend Medicaid to vulnerable adults nationwide.

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, had refused the Medicaid expansion as he took steps to limit the reach of the health care overhaul in Minnesota. But Pawlenty and the previous Democratic-led Legislature passed a law last year allowing the next governor to opt in through executive order, and Dayton had promised during his campaign to do so.

The move is expected to bring in $1.2 billion in federal money for hospitals, clinics and health care providers.

Dayton said the state is projected to save $32 million through mid-2013, even as it spends nearly $400 million in general-fund dollars on the expansion. That’s because even more money will be saved in a separate fund tied to the MinnesotaCare health care program for the working poor. Republicans who now control the Legislature are wary of the additional general-fund spending as the state faces a $6.2 billion deficit.

“This is the step that benefits all the people of our state at no, and I repeat, no net cost to the state of Minnesota,” Dayton said.

Dayton also signed an order rescinding a Pawlenty directive that prevented state agencies from seeking discretionary grants under the health care law.

Rep. Jim Abeler, who heads a House health care spending panel, warned against banking on the federal money coming in.

“Our state has been victimized by promised federal dollars in the past,” said Abeler, R-Anoka.

The new governor was both booed by protesters and cheered by supporters at his news conference. He entered the room wearing a stern expression, warning those there that they would be ejected if they interrupted the speakers.

One of the supporters who spoke was Sarah Anderson, a social worker from St. Paul who said her brother was denied state coverage while he faced a rare cancer. Dayton stepped forward to quiet the room as she talked. She thanked Dayton for signing the order.

“The health care in Minnesota is far more safe and secure because of Governor Dayton’s actions today, leaving this citizen, this social worker and this sister very humbly grateful,” Anderson said.

Opponents cheered and applauded when Jake McMillian, 31, of Annandale, got up to respond.

“Where is the church to help these people because that is the church’s job and duty in social causes? I don’t find in the constitution where the government’s job is to do that. It’s for nonprofit organizations. It’s for the church to do what it rightfully should do,” he said.

Dayton stood by, listening. Then he signed the order.

WCCO-TV’s John Lauritsen Reports

WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman Reports

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

More from Reg Chapman
  • dan

    Hahahahahaha. Not in office one minute and already spending billions. Please increase the welfare benefits also so the lazy misfits can continue standing on the corner doing nothing. I’ll bet the people from other state are laughing at MN once again.

    • robb

      dan they were laughing the day he said he wanted to run, and they will continue to laugh, we ARE the laughing stock of the country, with Gov Goofy in charge, You watch how Ovomit has ruined this country, Gov. Goofy will be right in step with him BUTwhen the going gets tough or he is threatened, he will run and hide- like the coward that he is, Its time for you and me to quit our jobs, quit paying our bills and let this airhead lead us to the promised land?? oh what a joke this state/country have become, where is REAL leadership when you need it.

      • dphilips

        Very intelligent! Name calling solves everything!

    • Hubert Houghlan III

      You are a heartless monster.

    • dphilips

      What do tou people have against the poor?! There are many people WORKING 2 jobs and still cant afford healthcare!

      • lcd

        The better question, dphilips, is what do liberals in this state have against those of us who fall above that line and are not considered poor. We are not here to work to provide for everyone else in our state, rather have the “responsibility” to provide for our own family. Those of us who find we’ve met that responsibility and can safely afford to do so, contribute in many ways to help those less fortunate. But one drive down Franklin Avenue shows those deemed less fortunate gang banging, dope dealing, or hanging on the corner like a real life CCR song. Welfare has done nothing to resolve the problems, only expanded the number coming here to enjoy a too generous welfare state.

      • Kenny

        Hurray for those who are willing to work and those who can’t work due to a barrier like; a newly arrival refugee who cant speak English, a adult worker who was laid off from a company, a student who is striving to make it out there etc. But no doubt, there are a larger percentage of those who will take every advantage of the system and rely on it forever; why advance in a better or higher paying job when third party insurances cost an average of $400 / month. And taxpayers will only received a net payday equivalent to a person working parttime. Do the math, it will make people lazier. I just want to quit my job and live on benefits right. I work to hard while the neighbor is living every day doing nothing but live on benefits. Its not fair.

      • Victim Du Jour

        The State of Minnesota rewards people who pride themselves for failure and hypochodria.

      • Jim Fisher

        I do not believe anyone has particular malice toward the poor who are naturalized citizens and truly unable to work for a living. What most do not care for is providing our tax dollars to those who are here illegally, those who can work but choose not to and those who are simply out to “game” the system for any free handout they can get.

    • Fascism

      Lets see WCCO do a story about “Rule 25”, at one time the State of Minnesota paid Hazelton $1,000 a day per poor person to stay at a Treatment place.

      You can stay at a 4 star hotel for $53 a night if you look online, and AA is practically free.

      This is a good example of how Democrats use Public Schools and Healthcare funding hype for money laundering.

    • Ignorance must be bliss

      You are all hilarious. Give the guy a chance and stop crying. How will you ever survive now that things did not go exactly how you wanted for 1s in 8 years? GOPers need to just shut the hell up and wait for what is coming and all of you that think you know what is going to happen keep your comments to yourselves unless you have psychic powers. Remember that all the problems that you keep bit#$ing about were started on your precious GOPs watch. I love how all of you cry about how bad of a job someone who hasn’t even started yet but never say anything about how bad of a job the people that you had in office did. So you all can see what is going to happen but have no hind sight huh? If you know what is going to happen why do you not play the lotto and stop wasting people’s time on this stupid and useless argument on predictions of grandeur?

      • Ignorance thief

        Um I thought these comment sections where for commenting

      • Really?

        I believe Obama has done the worst job ever and he didn’t just start. Dayton didn’t just start. Don’t you remember he was a senator first and then he ran!! Literally!! That deer in the headlights look wears thin quickly!!

    • Really?

      Too true!!!

  • 21Dort

    ” ”
    Great comment Dan !

    • Ignorance must be bliss

      Commenting yes, crying about something that has not happened yet no. There is a big difference between the 2.

  • Elroy

    Another “atta boy” for Governor Prozac. We will spend our way back to prosperity under the guise of helping the impoverished.

    • Houbert Houghlan III

      You are a heartless monster. Prove me wrong. You want the poor to die. Poor = death, to you right?

  • Kathy

    Dan and 21Dort, I happen to be on a medicaid plan. I guarantee you that not all people who receive this coverage do not stand on the street corners doing nothing. I am a single Mom, I go to college and have a 4.0 GPA, also my daughter is attending college, and my son is doing very well in High school. Anyone who thinks that just “Lazy Misfits” are on these programs are ignorant idiots.

    • kiretwin

      I am glad you are trying to better yourself.
      But why not get a job with Medical benefits. There are places hiring that do offer it.

    • Kay

      What about the grants and how about repaying any medical bills?

      • Kathy

        Federal Pell Grants area available to anyone who earns less than I believe $41,000 a year. They do not equal the amount of loans that you are given. Of course the more you make the less you are given, but anything helps when you are trying to make ends meet. Just think someday if you have children that want to go to college these will be available to them also and perhaps yourself too.

    • Kay

      And who is paying for you and your daughter’s college? I would bet it’s not you. I certainly hope you plan on repaying your fellow Minnesotans who are currently paying YOUR bills!!!

      • Kathy

        Kay, We will be paying our School Loans back starting 6 months after we graduate.

    • dphilips

      Very well said!! I know many peole working two jobs,they still need assistance with healthcare Its about time we have a governor who really CARES!!

      • Leslie

        Well said dphilips and Kathy. Many people in the state are hardworking caring people that need this. The healthier the people the healthier the state and the cost savings in long term health care will be there. Thank you Gov. Dayton.

    • Kiretwin

      But this program doesn’t fix the problem. It just bleeds every one else.

      • HH III

        Right. We need national single payer health care, Medicare for ALL right now!!!

    • Really?

      Who pays for your schooling? Do you work at all? We don’t consider ourselves lucky to be paying for you. I’m sure you don’t get that but that’s reality!! Only the disabled should get welfare!! NO ONE else! It’s a choice to have children, not a right!!

  • Samantha E.

    Hey, while he’s got his “yes” pen out, slip him the blank check for a new Vikings stadium. And while we’re at it, why don’t we build a “Taxpayer Memorial Park” along the river front in downtown Minneapolis? Oh, and to be fair, we need to build a park in downtown St. Paul too.

    • Kathy

      Samantha E, Really!!! Is sarcasm necessary. I work and go to school. If I was not able to receive the help I am getting, my Daughter and I would probably not be able to attend college. By the way I am not attending school free, I am receiving school loans and thankfully Federal Pell Grants. I hope you never have to walk in my shoes.

      • Jaquelyn Mack

        I commend you for all that you are doing to better yourself and you are teaching your kids to do the same. I dont understand why others are giving you a hard time. Keep up the good work!

      • Johnny

        good job Kathy. But wait till you finish school and realized what you’ll have to face next. You’ll soon find that you’ve work so hard for had never enjoyed that simple presence of life with no worries. Do you think Titianna Washington who had been living on cash assistants through the county, and received food stamps, and medical assistants, and also claiming to have a mental disability; with a simple doctors notice can receive social security benefits; do really think she has any stress to life. She wakes up everyday and enjoys her everyday life while we, who work so hard everyday, will one day wake up with our gray hair and look back and realized; where the hell did all my life went? There was never a glimpse of enjoyment cause I had just focus myself on work and supporting for my family who had already grown up. Regrets. Your school loans, your medical issurance, taxes you pay, everything will factor in and eat you up after you’re done with school. Trust me. Ive been through it and now a 48 years old dad, look back and see how old ive become.

  • dphilips

    Gov Dayton has done more in one week to help the needy than Pawlenty did in 8 YEARS!!

    • Kiretwin

      The needy or people who don’t want to work hard or make good decisions.
      Now I get to pay for it.Isn’t it better to have a system that helps people get off my dime. This program only makes it worse.

      • Ignorance must be bliss

        Wow, so I love that people talk like this and then go to church and say that they are a religious person that is doing god’s work for helping others. So love thy neighbor, but do nothing about it when they are sick and cannot see a doctor. People in this country have been helping each other out for a long time and that is just how it is supposed to be. I for one will not be sad when I go to a business and do not have to see all the benefits that people have to throw for someone who has got into an accident and needs $ to pay the med bills because a drunk driver slammed into them and now they have to sit in a wheelchair. Never seen anything like this before though have you? You are correct that this will only benefit the people that leech on the system. Does anyone think before they start to bi$ch about something like this?

  • Albert

    Great idea Samantha! That will solve the unemployment problem too by creating 1,000s of new jobs for MN. And Kathy, I’m so happy to know that I work 60 hours a week so I can pay enough taxes to fund your and your daughter’s college education. My only hope is I can work long enough to pay for your son’s degree too.

    • Kathy

      Albert, My Daughter and I are paying for my college via school loans. I work and pay taxes too. You know what they say about assuming.

  • Kyle

    Typical republican stereotyping. How can you be against providing basic healthcare to everybody in the most powerful country in the world? Seriously? Some people are just down on their luck due in large part to our economy being run into the ground to near depression levels by W. So here is some stereotyping of my own for you… You are in your 40s, are white, live in the suburbs, and make over $100,000/year. You couldn’t be more out of touch with a large majority of people. I would love to see my taxes go up to help out the state and just to see you cry when yours do.

    • Cache

      My oh my the Race card, the have not card, and the Waah Waah Card…a total maroon!

  • dphilips

    Its sad that this has become such an Ive got mine, to hell with everybody else society

  • scooby


    • Daughters/Sons

      ‘adults with no children who make less than $8,100 a year will have health care’

      Our graduates fresh out of college are down and out cause no one is hiring in the Twin Cities. Unfortunately our young and brightest are moving out of state jobless and with out health insurance looking for a opportunity in bigger cities. Maybe this will give them hope and they will come back to the Twin Cities if more jobs are available for them even if they are low paying. I know cause one of those girls are mine :- ( Having our educated daughters/sons walk the streets in Chicago, New York, LA, looking for work is not what we want!
      ‘Thank You’ Mark Dayton

      • Tax Payers

        My husband and I fit into the middle class. He is a contractor and we have not had health insurance for years yet we pay taxes. We try to help our kids through college the best we can; we are in our 50’s with pre-existing health conditions so no health insurance for us. You could not find a better man. He never complains. Our college grads and young adults out of school who can not find jobs need to know we care. Please help and give some hope. Thank You

      • Renee

        Thank God for Obama’s healthcare reform which allows them to stay on our plans until age 26. It has been hell for recent college grads, with unemployment for this group around 25%.

  • Mr Responsable

    what are you demoncrats going to do when i run out of money? who will fund all your programs?

    • Joe

      I don’t know Mr. Responsible. But when the day comes that you “run out of money” like the others you look down on, I doubt anyone that has money will care about you either. Hopefully, they will treat you with the same distain as you treat those “irresponsible” people that “chose” to be laid off.

  • Kathy

    Thanks Jacquelyn Mack, I fortunately have never had to live in an area that is impoverished. I do not think people understand just how hard it is to get out of that life style. They are not given the same educational opportunities and jobs availability that is there for people who are lucky enough not to have to be born into it. There are thankfully some who escape. Where I do not condone gangs and selling drugs,but that is sometimes the only way people think they can make a living. I wish we could all help them find a better way to live.

  • mike

    does this federal money come with more cost to us taxpayers? If it does where are they going to cut to pay for it? Does health care have more priority than giving money to someone not contributing to their existance? I think it does ,but we have to do it with the money they are already taking from us. Don’t come asking for more. Mike

    • skip

      yes its called inflation. they are printing money. just wait soon it will be here 8 bucks for a gallon of milk, 3 bucks for a candy bar, 30 bucks for a pizza, and who knows what gas will be? the best part is – who do you think gets hit the hardest by this inflation? the same people were suppose to be “helping” the poor.

  • Gimme Gimme Gimme

    Paying for you education “via school loans” are you? Who do you think is funding your loans and making them available to you? You haven’t “paid” for anything until you have repaid 100% of your loans, plus reasonable interest.

    Most entitlement programs don’t actually help very many people; too often all they do is encourage people to seek more entitlements. It’s much like that old adage “Why buy the cow when you can have the milk free?”

    • where we are

      Welcome to the E.S.A.
      of america

    • Kathy

      Gimme, You are an A–hole. First of all you are assuming that I will not pay back my school loans and secondly I have worked in Minnesota for over 30 years (and still am) which includes paying Minnesota taxes. This conversation is getting way out of hand. Just think when I graduate I will get a job that pays more than the one I am working at now, therefor I will be paying more taxes!

      • life is full of dissapointments get use to it

        gimme, since when did the bad decisions along the way of a single mom (wheres dad?) become my responsibility to open my wallet for her for the rest of my life.

    • Anna

      I was like Kathy — I received grants and loans to attend college, and it moved me from the lower class to the upper class (I am now a millionaire).

      Giving people a leg up ultimately benefits all of society . . . these people are able to make greater contributions because they become part of an educated workforce.

      I pay a LOT in taxes today, and I’m happy to do so because I’m helping people like Kathy. I know she’s a hard worker and wants to contribute her share. I applaud her for her hard work and persistence. The best investments we make are in PEOPLE.

  • Cache

    Yep…Bozo Dayton is already at inciped irresponsible…Spending. spending, spending…He has a brain the size of a pea…I already started my hunt for a new state to move to…ASAP!

    • dphilips

      Its people like you that ruin the state! GOOD RIDDANCE!!

  • Dave

    Let me know if you need help packing Cache!

    • Cache

      You and your ilk only give me impetus…I’ll keep an eye on this rat hole because you will soon run out of taxpayers to rob…I won’t be using you to pack as I will probably mysteriously lose most of my property!

      • Ignorance must be bliss

        You say it like we NEED you in this state. I think I speak for a lot of people here when I say, you will not be missed. While you are at it, instead of just going out of state, try a little further and check out a new country. Just like sports we do not need another fair weather fan.

      • Like It Is

        The state will be a lot better off without your kind, Cache. Ignorant, selfish, pieces of trash. Yes, please leave the country immediately. We don’t want you here, you embarrass us with your presence. Please, tell us you’ve left by now!

  • Kathy

    Who is disappointed? Would you rather I not try to make my life better? I love school and am thriving in it. I am not bitter like many of the people replying to the article. The taxes I pay are going towards the same programs yours are!!!

  • JA

    The whiners about this plan and all others whining about any assistance plan would be the first ones in line if they needed it themselves. Two faced hypocites.

  • JA

    And no…neither I nor any member of my family have ever needed assistance. We have been among the lucky. Wonder if the whiners know anything of Christianity?

    • nice

      Christianity? you think TAKING money from people is christian. if you take “government” out of the issue, its called stealing. good luck at the pearly gates

      • Joe

        Does “Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s” ring a bell?
        How about ” It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven”

        I wish YOU luck at the pearly gates … think you’ll only be seeing them by postcard.

      • Mr R

        Joe, Joe\

        What is a greater sin?
        being upset that the money i work for is taken from my family
        sitting on your butt all day blaming someone else for your misfortunes and not providing for yourself and your family expecting government to do it.

        i think the second one falls into one of the seven deadly sins

      • Ignorance must be bliss

        I would have to say that taking money is Christian. I don’t know about all of you, but when I go to a church they seem to always be asking for $. You know what is absolutely American Christian is saying that you are religious and then turning your back on someone in need. Maybe that is just republican, I get those 2 mixed up all the time as they try very hard to make them 1 in the same when speaking to the American public.

  • James Lambert

    way to go Mark, i,m with you!

  • "Kee Kee Rist but its cold up here"!

    I’m proud of you Kathy. Making yourself and your children smarter than some of these dimwits in here.
    The Republicans got us in the mess MN is in and it will take a Democrat to get us out of it.

  • nice

    todays economic lesson if you get more from uncle sam then you give him in a given year. then you do not “pay taxes”

    JA if my life would go south then i would rely on something called family, not government

  • Joey The Elf

    Let the spending begin!!!! When your a millionaire with no sense of the value of money….its easy to be a liberal! Now we can keep bringing more immigrants to Minnesota so we can support them! Diversity my arse! Liberals love diversity as long as it is not their neighborhood!

  • nice

    i would love to stay and chat but i have to go to work. you have heard of that place. its where i go and be productive and at the end of the week they give me a paycheck to pay for all your programs. it sure is nice to see that kathy can afford internet service, you know being she needs medical asst. priorities.

  • Twin Cities Moving

    […] Dayton Expands Medicaid; Tea Party Boos « CBS Minnesota – News … Our graduates fresh out of college are down and out cause no one is hiring in the Twin Cities Unfortunately our young and brightest are moving out of state jobless and with out health insurance looking for a opportunity in bigger . […]

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