Minn. Senate Takes Up Health Spending Bill

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s Senate will debate and vote on a budget for state health and assistance programs that includes a state surcharge on HMOs and nursing facilities.

The Senate’s Democratic-sponsored health and human services budget bill contains $11.3 billion in spending to provide health care and other services to low-income people.

The proposal raises about $80 million from the HMO surcharge and $16 million from the nursing facilities surcharge over the next two years. That varies from a separate health and human services bill from House Democrats, which raises a smaller sum from HMOs with a cap on financial reserves and a surcharge on hospital budgets.

The House passed its version of the bill earlier this week. After the Senate passes its bill, lawmakers from both chambers will meet to reconcile differences and agree on a bill to send to Gov. Mark Dayton.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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