ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A health and welfare package that would slash projected spending by $1.6 billion over two years cleared the Minnesota on Wednesday.
The bill is far from becoming law. It differs significantly from a House proposal, and Gov. Mark Dayton’s top advisers raised significant concerns. Its next stop will be a House-Senate conference committee.
Here are highlights from the bill:
–Prohibits state spending to implement the federal health care overhaul unless the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the challenged law, while directing the state attorney general to take legal action to block the law from being carried out in Minnesota.
–Rolls back a Medicaid expansion Dayton ordered in January for nearly 100,000 vulnerable adults and revives a less generous state program created under former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
–Above certain income limits, removes adults without children and — if federal officials agree — families with children from state health programs and instead offers them sliding-scale subsidies to buy private insurance. Dayton administration officials contend that the federal government is unlikely to grant permission for the change, putting some of the bill’s cost-cutting in doubt.
–Eliminates coverage for eyeglasses, dentures, physical therapy and chiropractic care for patients on public health programs.
–Eliminates or reduces an array of grants for social services and public health programs, including youth anti-smoking efforts, home health care visits for high-risk families and efforts to address obesity and tobacco use.
–Eliminates state coverage for immigrants living legally in the United States.
–Prohibits human cloning through the use of embryonic stem cells.
–Overhauls four cash assistance programs for vulnerable adults, replacing them with block grants to counties to save $20 million.
–Phases out a law prohibiting nursing homes from charging different rates for private-paying patients and subsidized patients.
–Requires welfare recipients to live in Minnesota for 60 days before receiving benefits, instead of 30 days under current law.
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