Minnesota legislators face expensive health care decisions

There’s been lot of talk at the Capitol about a $1.5 billion budget surplus. But lawmakers are already worrying about how to plug a $700 million hole.

That’s because a tax on health care providers that helps fund Medicaid and the state’s MinnesotaCare program is slated to go away at the end of 2019.

Finding a solution is one of the top priorities for the 2019 session, which opens Jan. 8.

Gov.-elect Tim Walz and leaders of the new Democratic majority in the House want to renew it. But the state’s largest doctors’ group is touting an alternative that might be politically palatable to the Senate GOP majority.

Another big health issue for the session is a proposal by Walz to let all residents buy into MinnesotaCare.

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