Sunday, August 21, 2011

Editorial: Watch Health Care Experiment

One of the state's most influential special interests -- Minnesota's nonprofit health plans -- faced an unprecedented level of scrutiny this year during the legislative session.
But after serious questions were raised about how much money the plans made off the taxpayer-funded medical assistance programs for the poor, elderly and disabled, lawmakers at the session's end opted to give them even more of the state's health care business.
About 115,000 of the sickest and most vulnerable patients who are currently in a state-administered plan will now be automatically enrolled in privately run managed-care plans next year, unless they choose to opt out. About half are expected to do so.
This is a sweeping new health care reform -- one that many other states are implementing -- and it did not get the airing that it deserved during the legislative session.
The intentions behind it are good -- improving medical care while saving money. But Minnesota cannot afford to assume this will happen, which is essentially what it's done

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