Minnesota won a partial victory in a dispute over health care funding with the Trump administration, which agreed to restore $85 million in funds withheld from the state’s MinnesotaCare program.
Federal officials last year abruptly pulled millions of dollars in federal support for the program as part of a series of executive branch actions designed to dismantle parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Minnesota joined New York state in suing to reverse the decision, arguing that the funding was authorized as part of the 2010 health care law.
“Last fall, without analysis or justification, the federal government cut funding for MinnesotaCare,” state Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said in a statement Wednesday evening. “I am pleased today they acknowledge Minnesota is entitled to return of some of that funding.”
Piper said her department is assessing whether the $85 million is sufficient to address Minnesota’s concerns in the lawsuit. State officials said the new payment is about 72 percent of what Minnesota would have received under the original funding formula.
Officials with the federal Department of Health and Human Services could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.
Along with New York, Minnesota is one of only two states that implemented what the ACA defines as a “Basic Health Plan,” which subsidizes coverage for people whose income is low, but too high to qualify for Medicaid. It used MinnesotaCare, which was created in the early 1990s, as the framework for the new plan.
MinnesotaCare, created to serve people often described as the working poor, now serves about 89,000 Minnesotans.
The money restored in the latest decision represents one of two federal funding streams for MinnesotaCare, which together fund about 90 percent of the program’s cost.
The lawsuit is on hold after a judge asked both sides to come up with new guidelines for determining how much money the federal government would contribute.
It’s not clear whether federal officials have agreed to continue the funding beyond 2018.