ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — Two lawmakers are joining a growing tide of officials pressuring to keep University of Minnesota hospitals in the state’s hands.

Rep. Joe Atkins and Rep. Dan Schoen, both Democrats from the Twin Cities area, introduced bills Monday that would block any entity from outside the state from taking control of the school’s hospitals.

“There are so many things that we maybe don’t understand the total impact, that we need to take a break –take a step back. Maybe take more time to understand what will this really do and how will it impact Minnesotans and their health care as a whole,” said Schoen.

The bill would block any non-Minnesota company from owning or controlling the hospital. A second bill would place a one-year moratorium on any transaction.

South Dakota-based Sanford Health’s discussions of acquiring Fairview Health Services, one of the state’s largest hospital systems, have raised concerns since those talks came to light late last month. Attorney General Lori Swanson pressed Sanford to explain its motive and how a takeover would impact the state’s health care at a public hearing Sunday.

The two bills are expected to be discussed next week. The university has proposed its own takeover to pre-empt Sanford’s move.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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