Letter in support of bill to make MinnesotaCare available to undocumented noncitizens

February 8, 2021

VIA ELECTRONIC DELIVERY

Hon. Zack Stephenson
Chair, Commerce Finance and Policy Committee
Minnesota House of Representatives

RE: Support for Section 4 of H.F. 11 (Schultz) (Citizenship Requirements of MinnesotaCare)   

Chair Stephenson and Members of the Committee:

We write to highlight and express our support for Section 4 of H.F. 11 which would make eligibility for MinnesotaCare available to undocumented noncitizens.

Minnesota’s Catholic Bishops have consistently supported principled health care reform derived from our core values: respect for the dignity of every human person; concern for the poor and vulnerable; and advancing the common good.  Like any basic element of life, health care is necessary for development, sustains us, and should be accessible and affordable for everyone.  Unfortunately, undocumented immigrants in Minnesota find themselves marginalized from a system that should protect and heal them.

Our interest in H.F. 11 stems from our belief that health care policy should strive to make health care available and accessible to everyone, especially to the poor and vulnerable and regardless of immigration status. We also believe expanding MinnesotaCare access makes sense as a matter of prudent stewardship of fiscal resources.  Under current law, undocumented immigrants are only able to receive care in the most expensive setting – the hospital emergency room. The eligibility expansion proposed in H.F. 11 would allow them to receive timely care in a less costly primary care setting, which would reduce uncompensated care costs for hospitals in the long term.

We appreciate Rep. Schultz’s foresight and willingness to include a health care option for undocumented noncitizens in her bill.  At writing of this letter, HF 11 is the only bill in the Legislature that offers a solution to the issue.  While we are still formulating our position on other aspects of the bill, we want to seize this opportunity and encourage committee members to support this provision of the bill as it moves through the vetting process.

We appreciate your consideration and are grateful for your work on behalf of all Minnesotans.

Respectfully submitted,

Ryan E. Hamilton, Esq.
Government Relations Associate

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