Gov. Mark Dayton's plan to expand eligibility for Medicaid in Minnesota would provide health coverage for an additional 145,000 Minnesotans, including 47,000 children, said Minnesota's Human Services Commissioner.
Medicaid is a joint federal state safety net program that serves low-income, disabled and vulnerable residents. It's called Medical Assistance in Minnesota. The expansion plan would raise income limits and cover some childless adults.
Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could opt out of the expansion. But Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said the legislature should approve the plan because it covers more Minnesotans and is a good deal for taxpayers.
"We already cover a lot of these people," Jesson said. "There are 53,000 people who are currently under our MinnesotaCare program where the state pays half of those costs, that will transfer to medical assistance where the federal government will pick up 100 percent of the tab for three years and at least 90 percent thereafter."
Dayton has been a major supporter of expanding Medicaid in Minnesota.