Health Care Changes Loom

Posted at: 04/09/2013 9:18 PM
Updated at: 04/09/2013 10:23 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- Minnesota Democrats unveiled a massive healthcare spending bill today that calls for some controversial changes.

Along with roughly $150 million in total cuts to the Health and Human Services budget, the proposal also includes one idea that may not be sitting well with hospital administrators.

Essentially Democrats want to increase pay for nursing home workers and long-term care providers for the first time in four years, but it's how they want to pay for it that some may have a problem with.

Democrats propose putting a surcharge on hospitals to offset the salary hike.

The surcharges are expected to raise around $100 million, meaning hospitals like the Mayo Clinic could feel a bit of a financial sting

Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy was actually in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to address the National Press Club, and in the address he outlined specific ways for lawmakers and health care providers to improve the country's health care system.

“The United States desperately needs innovation that addresses our most pressing problems: uneven health care quality, sky-rocketing costs, and the lack of tools to help us spend wisely,” Dr. Noseworthy said.

Dr. Noseworthy also put a little pressure on state lawmakers, suggesting that if Mayo's Destination Medical Center project does not receive the nearly $500 million in state funding that it's looking for, the clinic may look outside of Minnesota for any future expansion efforts.