Updated: 03/09/2012 2:13 PM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls
The four HMOs, Medica, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Health Partners and U-Care all reported combined profits of 130-million dollars in 2010. They also have a collective reserve of 2.5-billion dollars---all of it taxpayer money for running the state's health care programs. Governor Dayton wants the HMOs to cap profits at one-percent and, if they have excess money at the end of 2011, he wants that money returned to taxpayers.
One lawmaker who sits on the Senate Human Services Committee told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that Governor Dayton's private negotations and subsequent deal with the HMOs does not go far enough. State Senator, Sean Nienow, (R) Cambridge, says the deal favors HMOs because they define what a one-percent profit looks like and they get to keep the 2.5-billion dollars they have in the bank.
The Governor's office issued a statement saying the Governor has the authority to amend the HMO contracts without legislative approval. The four HMOs also issued a statement saying the deal helps the state balance its 5-billion dollar budget deficit.