Testimony of Ryan E. Hamilton, Minnesota Catholic Conference Government Relations Associate
H.F. 4307 (Schultz)—Article 4, Section 4 (Citizenship requirements for MinnesotaCare)
House Human Services Finance and Policy Committee
March 31, 2022
*Begin watching at 1:16:30
Chair Schultz and Members of the Committee:
My name is Ryan Hamilton, and I am Government Relations Associate for the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota.
I come before you to highlight and express our support for Article 4, Section 4 of H.F. 4307 which would make eligibility for MinnesotaCare available to undocumented noncitizens children under the age of 19.
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 this issue 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. 4307 would allow their children to receive 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 children in her bill.
As always, we are grateful for your work on behalf of all Minnesotans. Thank you!
Ryan Hamilton, Government Relations Associate