GOP lawmaker backs off on trying to repeal Medicaid expansion

A Republican state senator is backing off an effort to repeal early expansion of Medicaid in Minnesota.

Gov. Dayton ordered the expansion to cover 95,000 people who are currently either on state health care programs or who have no health insurance.

Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, joined other Republicans in objecting to expansion. But Hann said Tuesday that he will no longer push to repeal the expansion because it would make the state's budget deficit worse.

"After some consideration we felt that it might be an easier approach just to not deal with that issue, especially given the likelihood that the governor is not likely to sign a bill that repeals an action that he's taken already," said Hann.

Hann and other Republicans criticized the Medicaid expansion because it's part of the new federal health overhaul. They said there's too much uncertainty about what it will cost the state in the future.

Dayton said the expansion will ensure greater health coverage to more Minnesotans. The expansion is supposed to start next month.

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